China’s Ministry of State Security has disclosed the exposure of an individual, identified as Zeng, who is suspected of providing sensitive military information to the CIA. Zeng, a Chinese national, was an employee of an undisclosed Chinese military-industrial group with access to classified data, according to the ministry’s statement released on Friday. Reportedly sent to Italy by his employer for educational purposes, Zeng allegedly established a close relationship with a US embassy official during his stay, eventually revealing the official as a CIA officer.
The ministry claimed that Zeng was offered a substantial sum of money and the possibility of immigration for his family to the United States in exchange for classified information regarding the Chinese military. The statement further asserted that Zeng signed an espionage agreement with the CIA and received training. Upon his return to China after completing his studies, Zeng allegedly met with CIA personnel multiple times and provided a significant amount of core intelligence.
The ministry stated that it took “compulsory measures” against Zeng following the discovery of evidence related to his espionage activities during an investigation. The case has now been transferred to prosecutors for further review and potential indictment.
This revelation from China follows recent allegations of espionage between the United States and China. Just a week prior, two US Navy sailors in California were arrested under suspicion of sharing sensitive US military information with Chinese intelligence officers.
China’s Ministry of State Security, responsible for intelligence and counterintelligence, has gained prominence in recent times. It launched a public account on WeChat, a popular Chinese app, in August, encouraging individuals to contribute information about espionage and offering rewards for assistance. The ministry’s recent statement regarding Zeng’s case was also published on its WeChat account.
Tensions between the United States and China have escalated in recent years, leading to increased rivalry in intelligence activities. China has expanded its counter-espionage law, reflecting a broader concern about espionage. The CIA’s operations in China reportedly suffered a significant setback in the early 2010s, with numerous sources being compromised.
These events have prompted the CIA to reevaluate its training and management of agents, particularly with a focus on adversarial nations such as China and Russia. As espionage activities continue to unfold between these global powers, the situation underscores the complexities of international intelligence rivalry.
Image by standret on Freepik