China ‘dismantled entire CIA operation’; killed, jailed ‘score of CIA spies’ by ALEXANDER MERCOURIS
New York Times report confirms that between 2010 and 2012 China dismantled the entire CIA spying operation in China, jailing and executing a score of spies.
A report in the New York Times sourced to 10 ‘current and former officials’ says that between 2010 and 2012 China dismantled the entire CIA operation in China, rounding up, executing and jailing up to 20 spies working for the CIA.
It seems that in one case the Chinese executed one of the captured spies in the courtyard of a government building in front of his colleagues of whatever institution he was working for in order to impress on them the risks of spying for the CIA.
It seems this was the biggest single defeat the CIA has suffered since the end of the Cold War, and to this day officials remain divided as to its cause, with some blaming a mole (their suspicions apparently centre on one individual who is now said to be living in an Asian country) whilst others blamed sloppy handling by the spies’ handlers in Beijing. Regardless it seems that the whole episode continues to cause recrimination within the US intelligence community to this day.
Setting aside the question of how China detected and broke this spy ring, there are a number of points to take from this episode.
The first is that though the New York Times article claims that by 2013 China had supposedly lost its ability to detect US spies working in China, the defeat seems so devastating that it is most unlikely that the CIA spying operation in China has fully recovered to the level of before 2010.
The second is that though the Chinese acted decisively and ruthlessly to smash the CIA spy ring, they also acted discreetly. Contrast the little we know about this affair – and the total silence China has maintained about it – with the huge fuss the US made about the so-called ‘Russian illegals‘ , who were rounded up by the FBI at roughly the same time in 2010.
Contrary to some claims, the ‘illegals’ were not spies but sleeper agents Russian intelligence tried to embed in the US to support future spying operations there. Since none of them was actually a spy the charges brought against them were relatively minor, and all of them were quickly deported to Russia, where they were exchanged for actual US spies Russia had arrested and was holding in prison. Despite the fact that none of the ‘illegals’ were spies, the affair dominated the news for several days with one of the individuals arrested – Anna Chapman, who was an intelligence courier not an ‘illegal’ – becoming an overnight media star.