Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

CCP Member Database Puts Nottingham University’s China Ties Under Scrutiny

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: January 7, 2021
Nottingham University
Britain's Prince Charles (in grey) waves to students as he arrives at the Nottingham University Campus in Semenyih, outside Kuala Lumpur, on November 3, 2017. (Image: MOHD RASFAN / AFP via Getty Images)

A leaked database of nearly 1.95 million Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members recently resurfaced and has brought the infiltration of Western society by the Party under enhanced scrutiny, including Nottingham University’s China ties.

The database 

The database was leaked in September on Telegram and handed to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) by a Chinese dissident. 

IPAC is a group of more than 150 legislators around the world, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Sen. Bob Mendez (D), as well as Canadian MP Garnett Genuis and former MP Irwin Cotler. The Alliance says its mission is “to foster deeper collaboration between like-minded legislators. Its principal work is to monitor relevant developments, to assist legislators to construct appropriate and coordinated responses, and to help craft a proactive and strategic approach on issues related to the People’s Republic of China.”

Analysis by researchers at KELA, an intelligence company that detects cyber threats,  showed that “the database also includes information of CCP members who worked at foreign consulates in Shanghai, as well as at the Chinese branches of different international banking, pharmaceutical, automotive and defense firms, universities, and research firms.”

IPAC released a statement on the leaked database on their Twitter account. “A representative of IPAC received this list from a non-governmental source, but was not in a position to verify it, so handed it to experts. Journalists have since investigated, and their findings are disturbing indeed.”

According to the article Digging the recently leaked Chinese Communist Party database on the website Security Affairs, the database “includes the members’ name, sex, ethnicity, hometown, organization, ID number, address, mobile number, landline, and education.” However, Security Affairs notes that the database is not new and has actually been for sale on the Chinese Darknet since November of 2018. 

Peirluigi Paganini, author of the article, wrote: “While one might assume that this leaked database is new, it is important to note that the same database has been circulating in Chinese Darknet markets for at least 2 years. Therefore, it is unclear why the database has recently surfaced again. It was first offered for sale on November 4, 2018 on DeepMix market, which is considered as one of the largest and most well-known Chinese Darknet markets.” Paganini also notes that the database was originally extracted in 2016, making its information four years old.

Pierluigi Paganini describes himself as a member of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security, a European Union governmental organization. He has a presentation titled Digging Into the Dark Web posted on the agency’s webpage.

Analysis by researchers at KELA, an intelligence company that detects cyber threats,  showed that “the database also includes information of CCP members who worked at foreign consulates in Shanghai, as well as at the Chinese branches of different international banking, pharmaceutical, automotive and defense firms, universities, and research firms.”

Paganini also confirmed the CCP members in the database were employed by some of the world’s largest corporations, stating “some of the companies in which CCP members were found are Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Airbus, Boeing, HSBC, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar and more.”

Nottingham University

As revealed in the database, the Chancellor of Nottingham University from 2001 to 2013, Yang Fujia, was also a veteran CCP member. Yang joined the Party when he was 19, and was once Director of Shanghai Nuclear Research Institute of China Science Academy and was the first Chinese to take charge of a Royal Chartered university. 

“When I first saw this news in 2001, I was shocked,” said Tian Yuan, a U.S.-based current affairs commentator specializing in China in an interview with The Epoch Times. “Why did University of Nottingham, a famous British University, hire a Chinese professor as the Chancellor?… In recent years, I’ve come to understand the reason behind it. It is because the University of Nottingham was no longer satisfied with raising money from western politics, economics, academia, or businesses. They were after the CCP’s wallet,” he said. Tian explained that a Chancellor’s main function is to help raise money for a University and is often well connected in politics, military, and business with high academic reputations. 

According to Youtube channel Sharon’s Straight Talk, Yang was one of the first two Chinese nuclear scientists chosen by Beijing to work as a visiting professor at Denmark’s Niels Bohr Institute in the 1960s. Sharon recounted a story Yang told to Chinese media in 2019 of his time at the Institute where he befriended an American scholar who was visiting at the time. 

Yang said in the media story: “Under the circumstances I gave up signing my name on the joint research paper as a co-author. The American scientist was very moved because he felt I did most of the work. This incident paved the way for my future development because the American scientist worked at the U.S. Weapons Research Institute. He later invited me to visit his facility. As a result of this, Chinese delegates visited the weapons research facilities twice. Yu Min, father of China’s hydrogen bomb joined the visit in 1983. That was his only trip abroad.”

During Yang’s tenure as Chancellor, he worked to install a campus in China called the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) in 2004. Yang served as Chancellor of both Nottingham universities. The UNNC has embedded in its structure a branch of the CCP with an official Party Secretary, Ying Xiong, who is also the Executive Director of UNNC. According to UNNC’s leadership page, Xiong won the title of “outstanding party member” for Ningbo City and Zhejiang Province. Chairwoman of UNNC’s Board Xu Yafen has also been a CCP member since 1981. Yang Fujia currently serves as the President of UNNC.

“Nottingham University must have benefited a lot from the CCP, otherwise how could it easily lend such a prestigious name with centuries of academic reputation to the CCP to open its own Nottingham University in China?” questioned Tian Yuan. 

U.S.-based scholar Ge Bidong postulated that Yang Fujia likely did more damage to UK society than even professional spies: “He was not only a member of the CCP, he was also a participant of the regime. It is surprising that such a person was so easily accepted and entrusted by the West, by Britain, as an ordinary scholar. In fact, it has something to do with the growing influence of the far left in Western society, which has been subverted by Communism and facilitated its gradual entry into power.”

“It’s not about choosing the wrong person for the job. It’s about working with the wrong party. It’s about dancing with a wolf,” said Ge. “Allowing CCP members to enter your organization will prove to be fatal.”

Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our email list