So, You Got State Secrets and A Coffee House, Eh?

What passes for the state security apparatus in China is now holding a Canadian couple for stealing state secrets about national defence and the military”.  The couple in question are running a coffee shop in Dandong (Peter’s Coffee House), right on the border with North Korea.

Apparently they host an English table every Friday and have entertainment – as well as steal state secrets.

Their customers seem to agree that Peter’s Coffee House has the tastiest secrets in the region:

“We stopped in to Peter’s Coffee House while on a walk along the Yalu River, to grab a bite for lunch, and were pleasantly surprised. The owner and his staff were all friendly and helpful, and the food was great.”

The owners of the secret coffee house – Kevin and Julia Garratt – are baffled by the Chinese security service’s claims and, according to their son, the charges are “absurd” and made “absolutely no sense”.  A good Reuter’s article on this is here.

Why am I not surprised?

  • Sumo294

    You only have to do 15 push ups to qualify into Canada’s special forces. I guess teaching English and serving coffee qualifies you to be recruited by Canada’s foreign service. They must be Canada’s finest and most highly trained recruits ever. Canada should immediately negotiate for their release.

  • RElgin

    Oh man! lol.

  • redwhitedude

    I guess the chinese don’t want foreigners to put themselves in a position to see first hand how things go along the Chinese-NK border. They must have made up this charge as an excuse to do that.

  • Sumo294

    Hmmmn . . . you may be right. Never thought about that–they also might have gotten involved in helping out NK border crossers. Or perhaps they hosted too many people going across the border from the north.

  • RElgin

    I would not be surprised if the Chinese did not feel comfortable with this couple having integrated themselves so well at that one point, very close to the border crossing.
    The CCP apparatus is so evil use this as a pretext to remove them and that secret coffee house, as well as much worse.
    Instead of engaging the Chinese Government, I think we should be shunning them but money makes tarts out of so many.

  • Aja Aja

    They are also Christians. They may have seen and said some things about the NK border crossers publicly, which may have left the Chinese government uncomfortable. It’s also possible they may have helped out the North Korean refugees. The couple were too much trouble for the Chinese government so they have to get rid of them with trumped up charges against the state.

  • Bob Bobbs

    How do you know so much about the CDN special forces?

  • Bob Bobbs

    They are also Christians.

    – Source?

  • cactusmcharris

    The CBC, for one. They’re supported by a Christian church in Surrey, BC. I can’t find it on their Web page, but the TV news this a.m. was reporting it so – I wouldn’t think that bit would be made up.

    It’s part of a tit-for-tat because last week Canada told China’s ambassador to Canada that his country was stealing secrets (gasp!) from Canada.

  • cactusmcharris

    You’re very well informed, but you might want to stick to your pigs and chickens.

  • Aja Aja

    The Canada’s Globe and Mail has all the possible reason including tit for tat spy accusations as well as China’s persecution of Christian activists.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/china-probes-two-canadians-for-alleged-theft-of-state-secrets/article19908947/

    Whatever the real reasons, the charges seem flimsy and it’s an outrageous act that should not be condoned by the world.

  • bumfromkorea

    It doesn’t matter if it’s the special forces of the Republic of Kittens and Carebears. If you’re in the special forces, chances are, you’re one scary motherfucker.

  • redwhitedude

    Chinese does whatever it feels like and I think the rest of the world have sort of resigned itself over it. Don’t expect the develop any meaningful relations with countries that it already is involved in “partnerships” whether it be in eurasia or africa.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Yikes! From OP’s linked article:

    China’s state secrets law is notoriously broad, covering everything from industry data to the exact birth dates of state leaders. Information can also be labelled a state secret retroactively. In severe cases, the theft of state secrets is punishable with life in prison or the death penalty.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    I’m pretty sure there are additional requirements.

  • redwhitedude

    Yup. Just so that they can do whatever they want. Make up charges at a whim. At some point it is going to catch up to them. Everybody may want to keep China at arm’s length.

  • http://jushinjok.blogspot.com JinJoo

    Sumo has a great sense of humor…… I reckon…..

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    stupid people are funny

  • http://jushinjok.blogspot.com JinJoo

    I must be the only one who thought Sumo was joking…..

  • bballi bballi paradise

    trolling more than joking but successful nonetheless

  • Aja Aja

    Greatest mistake that the world made ever – letting China join the WTO, pouring money and investments into China, naively believing that doing so will bring China out of dictatorship, to join the democratic values.

    The hindsight is now 20/20, but hardy har har… this move was a complete joke, since we now got an out of control genie out of the bottle. Where are all those people who proclaimed a more prosperous China will become more open and democratic? Nowhere to be found, probably too busy sucking on their profits and riches they reaped at the expense of majority of others.

  • http://jushinjok.blogspot.com JinJoo

    Dr Peter Navarro, in his documentary film “Death by China”, also said letting China join the WTO was the greatest mistake that the world made ever.

    http://deathbychina.com/
    (Everyone should purchase this film. It is only US$10.00)

    An Indian columnist suggested:

    “…..can’t concerned countries decide to jointly impose economic sanctions on Beijing (like the EU did for the ‘dumped’ Chinese solar panels); China which a surplus balanced trade with most the major world economies, may not be the winner at the end….”

    http://claudearpi.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/dont-anger-china-please.html

    ….but it probably is too late…spilled water cannot be gathered up…

  • RElgin

    . . . Because they are Christian they are a certain irritant. Because they are foreigners in an isolated area, they are a certain irritant. And because also we have accused the Chinese of spying on us, they are capable of sort of bullying us in the same perspective,” Juneau-Katsuya said.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/kevin-and-julia-dawn-garratt-all-right-chinese-officials-tell-son-1.2728172

    If you have read the NYTimes sinoblog, you would note that the PRC is now engaged in a campaign against quite a few Christian churches and pastors, for various reasons but it all comes back to the CCP’s desire to squash any potential political competition.

  • http://jushinjok.blogspot.com JinJoo

    Peter Navarro, when asked why the USA politicians let Chinese companies get away with trade, labor, and environmental violations, said:

    “I’m very careful not to blame just China. The other big problems are multinational companies from the U.S. or Europe or Japan. They benefit. They like the status quo, and they pay lots of money for that, and lots of lobbying money. Politicians need money at election time and money to get the vote. Well more than half of money in election comes from corporate interests whose interests are in polluting the Chinese environment and making products.”

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-08-22/q-and-a-peter-navarro-on-americas-death-by-china#p2

  • redwhitedude

    I wonder if the chinese will get anywhere with doing things the way they have. They can’t go on doing things like that indefinitely.

  • Sumo294

    78 push ups is quite a lot. I am speechless at the incredibly high standards of the Canadian Arctic Sled Dog Special Forces. I guess if you can only do 77 push ups you don’t get in the program.

  • Sumo294

    I apologize–I was off by 63 push ups. It was a terrible mistake by me for underestimating the requirements of the Arctic TEAM delta group.

  • downloader

    I’ve been to DanDong several times and have eaten at Peter’s Cafe. They have always given a bit of a slip on some of the Chinese laws… They had the only, seriously only, wifi hotspot in Dandong, and it was unlocked and anyone could use it. And this was at the time when China was demanding real ids to logon to the internet. Combine that with the religious aspects, a hang out for foreigners, so close to NK, and the current political climate because Canada has been accusing China of cyberattacks… and I think they are being singled out… but hey, i could be wrong and they could really be stealing state secrets…

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    you were off by a lot more than that. But youre an idiot

  • A Korean

    78 pushups for dogs is animal abuse.

    Remember, folks, dogs are people, too. And delicious.

  • RElgin

    You convinced me that the DPRK likely complained about them.
    It’s sad that such a decent couple had to get their life and business held hostage by such. They may well lose their investment and Dandong will lose its only decent coffee shop.

  • RElgin

    haha, man you are terrible!

  • Dokdoforever

    According to this article, Kevin Garrett trained missionaries to go into North Korea:
    http://www.thestar.com.my/News/World/2014/08/06/Canadianrun-cafe-on-ChinaNKorean-border-was-Christian-hangout–sources/

    A Canadian man under investigation in China for threatening national security said he ran a prayer and training facility outside the Chinese city of Dandong that was frequented by North Koreans, many of whom became Christians before returning to the isolated country.

    Kevin Garratt, who with his wife Julia Dawn Garratt is being investigated for suspected theft of military and intelligence information, also ran a coffee shop in Dandong, which was closed on Tuesday with a notice in the window reading: “See you soon.”

    “When God says to go and do something – yeah we have a choice – but when God’s presence says go, we really better go,” Garratt said in an audio file posted on the website of Terra Nova Church based in British Columbia, Canada.

    “All these people could’ve stayed in China, where it’s easier, where they could eat three meals a day,” he added, addressing a congregation at the South Korean-Canadian church in Canada last November.

    “But they chose to go back – everyone of them. And 99 percent of the people we meet go back to North Korea, because they have to preach the gospel in North Korea – they have to. Because God’s compelled them to go.”

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    I’ve heard several segments about them on NPR / CBC. Their son said his parents had visited NK several times and they also helped organize trips to NK for other foreigners. (This shouldn’t be surprising, since their cafe was only a few minutes from the border. “Helping organize trips” could mean anything, even if it was just giving advice.) When asked about suspicions of proselytizing, their son said they had a couple bibles at the cafe, but that was it.

    Christian Westerners having a cafe on the border and helping other foreigners arrange trips to NK…. Sounds like they were playing with fire. That said, if they were involved in helping NK refugees, I commend them.

  • Aja Aja

    Dandong area is crawling with North Korean agents.

  • redwhitedude

    Another reminder of where China’s priorities are in Korean matters.

  • http://jushinjok.blogspot.com JinJoo

    Experts like:

    Prof. Ahn Cheon
    ‘Korea sold her chastity to China for money’
    http://jushinjok.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/korea-sold-her-chastity-to-china-for.html

    Dr Peter Navarro
    ‘Death by China’
    http://deathbychina.com/

    and

    정규재TV
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcKxaSYAZv4 are trying very hard to warn people what China is really like.

  • redwhitedude

    China is a mess created by the CCP. I’d say that if things go downhill the CCP will not divulge that until the last minute when things are about to blow up. Similar to the US handling of the Katrina disaster. How they didn’t declare a mandatory evacuation within 24 hours of the Hurricane passing by New Orleans.

  • Bob Bobbs

    There is a special dispensation for those who can only do 77, if they can also make flipper pie.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Well, that seals it, then. Lock them up and throw away the key. Turn the other cheek and all that.

  • Bob Bobbs

    When pigs fly. I bet you couldn’t go a week without buying something made in China.

  • Bob Bobbs

    To paraphrase someone, the existence of the free world depends on the existence of an unfree one.

  • redwhitedude

    You mean that companies will gladly shift their R&D to china so that it will get pilfered by the chinese?

  • Bob Bobbs

    No, simply that Chinese-made goods are now so (Warning: Korean buzzword circa 2002) ubiquitous that it is virtually impossible to exist as a consumer in either Korea or the West without buying and/or eating something made or grown in China. The R and D aspect of product development will be reverse engineered as soon as the manufacturing is shifted to China, anyway.

  • redwhitedude

    Chinese stuff may not be cutting edge if that is what they are relying on and also if its something ubiquitous chances are it has been commoditized.

  • SeekTruthFromFacts

    “trained missionaries to go into North Korea”

    According to the source you quoted, he worked with North Koreans planning to share their faith in North Korea. That’s not the general meaning of missionary.

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