In mainland China, the use of kidnapping and illegal detention has become such a standard part of the Communist Party’s disciplinary procedures that it even has a name, shuanggui. In order to isolate suspects in corruption cases — which are often intertwined with fights among party factions — security officials seize them, hold them in undisclosed locations, and torture them to extract quick confessions. The use of shuanggui has increased sharply since Chinese President Xi Jinping launched his anti-corruption drive.
These techniques are now being applied abroad, and among U.S. allies, Australia seems to have borne the brunt of China’s efforts. The number of suspected kidnappings in that country is approaching double digits and includes multiple cases where individuals were beaten or drugged and then dragged onto a boat destined for China, according to former senior U.S. intelligence officials.