A Chinese state security official has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the United States, sources said, a case both countries have kept quiet for several months as they strive to prevent a fresh crisis in relations.
The official, an aide to a vice minister in China’s security ministry, was arrested and detained early this year on allegations that he had passed information to the United States for several years on China’s overseas espionage activities, said three sources, who all have direct knowledge of the matter.
The aide had been recruited by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and provided “political, economic and strategic intelligence”, one source said, though it was unclear what level of information he had access to, or whether overseas Chinese spies were compromised by the intelligence he handed over.
The case could represent China’s worst known breach of state intelligence in two decades and its revelation follows two other major public embarrassments for Chinese security, both involving U.S. diplomatic missions at a tense time for bilateral ties.
CONTINUED at Reuters.