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14/08/2023 | China arrests government worker who gave CIA ¨core information¨ about military

Joseph Fitsanakis

A CHINESE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE gave “core information” about China’s military to the United States, after he was recruited by a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer in Italy, a Chinese state agency has said. The allegation was made in a statement that was issued on Friday by China’s civilian intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security (MSS), on its WeChat social media account.

 

The MSS statement did not specify the period during which the alleged espionage took place. But it named the alleged spy as “Zeng” and described him as a 52-year-old “staff member of a Chinese military industrial group and an important confidential employee” of the Chinese state. According to China’s state-owned newspaper The Global Times, Zeng had been sent to Italy by his employer, presumably in order to pursue graduate studies or receive technical training. While in Italy, Zeng was allegedly accosted by an employee of the United States embassy in Rome, which the MSS identified as “Seth”.

According to the MSS, Seth was a CIA case officer, who befriended Zeng through “dinner parties, outings and trips to the opera”. The Chinese man “developed a psychological dependence” on Seth and was “indoctrinated” by him “with Western values”, the MSS statement claims. Seth eventually convinced Zeng to sign an agreement with the CIA to conduct espionage, after which the Chinese man allegedly received intelligence tradecraft training. Upon returning to China from his stay in Italy, Zeng is alleged to have carried out espionage on behalf of his CIA handlers. The MSS claims Zeng gave his CIA handlers “a great amount of core intelligence” during “multiple secret meetings” with them.

The information Zeng is alleged to have provided to the CIA concerned “key developments about China’s military” to which he had access through his employer. In exchange for this information, Zeng is accused of having received “a huge amount of [financial] compensation” by his CIA handlers. The latter also promised him that they would help his family emigrate to the United States, as per the MSS statement. The spy agency said that Zeng remains in detention while the case is under investigation. The MSS statement also warned other Chinese citizens living or traveling abroad of “the risks and perils” of recruitment by Western spy agencies.

The Reuters news agency said it contacted the United States embassy in Beijing about the MSS allegations, but received no response.

Intelnews.org (Estados Unidos)

 



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