Elaine Byrne: Why the notion of ‘Chinese surveillance’ is not so incredible after all

Its embassy may make light of it, but China has past form when it comes to the monitoring of people, governments and its own nationals abroad

The Hikvision headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. Picture: Reuters

An “incredible conspiracy theory” was how the Chinese embassy in Ireland jocosely described last week’s story, reported in the Business Post and elsewhere, about how Chinese-made surveillance cameras installed in Leinster House may pose a national security risk.

“1 € reward offered! NO LIMITS!” tweeted the embassy, as it “kindly invited to invent” similar conspiracy theories about Irish-made whiskey, meat and milk in China reporting back to Ireland.

Fanciful theories of subterfuge and intrigue are ...