China on Friday said it uncovered a Chinese national suspected of spying for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and providing it “core secret information” in exchange for “a huge amount of compensation.”
The 52-year-old Chinese national, identified as Zeng, was working for a military-industrial group and was sent to Italy for studies where he became friends with a CIA agent, China Central Television (CCTV) said in a report.
The CIA agent in question, identified as Seth, gained Zeng’s confidence and then convinced him to share sensitive information about the Chinese military, the TV report said.
“After meticulous investigation, the state security authority obtained evidence of Zeng’s espionage activities and, in accordance with the law, took coercive measures against him to eliminate the harm in a timely manner,” Beijing’s Ministry of State Security said in an online statement.
Chinese officials alleged that Zeng signed a contract with the United States and was trained to spy on China.
According to the TV report, stringent action, including detention, was against Zeng.
China’s fixation on national security
China’s increasing focus on national security has been one of the reasons for its increasingly thorny relations with the United States. The US has accused China of espionage and China has also maintained that it is under threat from spies.
Earlier this month, China, citing national security, had called on its citizens to get involved in counter-espionage activities.
Beijing has also been trying to amp up its effort to tackle spying activities and last month revised its anti-espionage law, which gives authorities wide-ranging power to punish anyone deemed threatening its national security.
“Relying on espionage organizations and their agents” as well as the unauthorized obtaining of “documents, data, materials, and items related to national security and interests” can constitute a spying offense, according to the amendments.
mfa/sms (AFP, Reuters)