China’s top spy agency said on Sunday that a Chinese national who worked for a defense institute has been charged with spying for the United States and his case has been transferred to a court in the southwestern city of Chengdu for trial.
The case is the latest to underscore Beijing’s heightened commitment to national security, its expanded anti-espionage laws, and its crackdown on domestic corruption.
China’s state-run CCTV said in a television report that a man named Hou, who worked at an undisclosed defense institute, was sent as a visiting scholar to an American university in 2013, where he was forced to reveal Chinese state secrets.
China’s Ministry of State Security stated on Sunday in a message on its WeChat social media account, saying “espionage activities go hand in hand with deception, temptation and conspiracy.”
The university was not named in the statement or media report.
CCTV said an American professor close to Hou introduced him to someone who claimed to be an employee of a consulting company but was an American “intelligence officer” using the company as a cover, CCTV said.
In the months that followed, as they became more friendly, the intelligence officer approached Hou to become a consulting expert at “his company,” promising to pay him $600 to $700 each time for the quality of his services.
A few months later, when Hou’s wife and son were visiting the US, the American revealed his true intentions and suggested a change in the way they worked together. Concerned for the safety of his wife and son, Hou agreed to the terms, according to CCTV.
Under the deal, Hou would be asked to divulge highly classified secrets in hour-long sessions at many meetings and would receive $1,000 in compensation, the report said.
The cooperation continued after Hou returned to China in 2014. He will meet with the US Secret Service while attending international conferences, CCTV reported. He also provided national defense and military industry intelligence on his initiative, the report said.
Following an investigation by the Chinese government, Hou was detained in July 2021 and charged on suspicion of espionage.
In recent years, China has arrested and detained dozens of Chinese and foreign nationals on suspicion of espionage, raising U.S. concerns about its counter-espionage.
China’s spy agency recently released new details about an American citizen who was jailed for life earlier this year for espionage.
Image Source: The Business Standard