The latest in a spate of highly publicized espionage charges between Washington and Beijing comes from China’s civilian intelligence agency, which exposed a Chinese national for allegedly supplying secret military information to the CIA
China’s Ministry of State Security said in a statement Friday that the suspect, known by his surname Zeng, worked for an unidentified Chinese military industrial organization in a position that provided him access to sensitive information.
According to the ministry, Zeng, 52, was sent by his employer to further his studies in Italy. According to the statement, he was solicited by a US embassy official while there, and they progressively built a “close relationship” through activities such as dinner parties, trips, and opera watching.
The ministry asserted that as their relationship progressed, the US diplomat exposed his identity as a CIA agent. According to the statement, Zeng was allegedly offered “a huge amount” of cash in addition to family immigration to the US in exchange for confidential information regarding the Chinese military.
It said Zeng signed an espionage agreement with the US and received assessment as well as training.
Upon completing his studies, Zeng returned to China and allegedly met with CIA personnel multiple times to provide “a large amount of core intelligence,” according to the statement.
The ministry said it had taken “compulsory measures” against Zeng after obtaining evidence of his espionage activities in an investigation. The case has been handed to the prosecutors for review and indictment, it added.
A week after two US Navy sailors in California were detained for allegedly giving classified US military secrets to Chinese intelligence agents, China made its disclosure regarding the accused CIA spy.
A civilian organization in China, the Ministry of State Security is in charge of domestic and international intelligence and counterintelligence. Its mandate has prompted comparisons to a combined CIA and FBI, although it is much more clandestine about its activity, without even an open website outlining its operations.