CIA espionage case uncovered, says China intelligence agency

BEIJING  -  China on Friday said it had recently uncovered a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) “case of espionage” in­volving a Chinese national named Zeng who provided “core secret in­formation” for money.

Beijing has been stepping up ef­forts to combat spying recently, in­cluding implementing a revised an­ti-espionage law last month that gives authorities more power than ever to punish what they deem to be threats to national security.

“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 a statement pub­lished online.Details on Zeng’s pun­ishment were not provided.

The statement said that 52-year-old Zeng had been sent to Italy for stud­ies, where he befriended a CIA agent stationed at the US embassy in Rome. This individual convinced Zeng to provide “sensitive information on the (Chinese) military” in exchange for “a huge amount of compensation” and assistance for Zeng and his family to move to the United States.

Zeng allegedly signed a contract with the US side and received train­ing before returning to China to con­duct the espionage activity.

The case quickly received wide­spread attention in China, soaring to the top of a list of trending topics on social media site Weibo on Fri­day morning. Beijing’s revision of its anti-espionage law has spooked many US businesses with opera­tions in China as relations between the countries continue their down­ward spiral.

Under the changes, “relying on espionage organisations and their agents” as well as the unauthorised obtaining of “documents, data, ma­terials, and items related to nation­al security and interests” can consti­tute a spying offence.

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