The Chinese Secret Service

Roger Faligot, Author, Christine Donougher, Translator, Remi Kauffer, With William Morrow & Company $24.95 (527p) ISBN 978-0-688-09722-6
Written by a pair of French journalists, this is the first major inquiry into the Tewu , the Chinese secret service, and its leader, Kang Sheng (1898-1975). The authors explore Kang's role in the Sino-Soviet split and the development of China's A-bomb, along with his crucial participation in the purges of the Cultural Revolution. There is a wealth of new material here, including the story of Kang's sexual-political alliance with Jiang Qing, who became Madame Mao; details of his relationship with defense minister Lin Biao (prepared to switch sides if Lin's power play succeeded, he had him killed when it failed); the account of Larry Wu Tai Chin, Kang's CIA mole for 34 years; and evidence supporting the fantastic but increasingly plausible theory that Australian prime minister Harold Holt, who disappeared in 1967, was a Tewu agent. The padding in the narrative grates at times (``Kang lit his second cigarette of the morning''), but this is a minor complaint. Faligot and Kauffer's richly comprehensive book lifts the veil from the secret service in a country ``where mystery is a cult, secrecy a religion.'' Photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
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