China’s state security authorities unveil espionage case involving military expert, sentenced to 15 years in prison
Published: May 23, 2024 11:15 PM
Spy Photo: VCG

Spy Photo: VCG

China's Ministry of State Security on Thursday unveiled details of an espionage case involving a military expert who was compromised while participating in an international conference. Initially denying accusations, he eventually admitted to his illegal activities when faced with irrefutable evidence, leading to a 15-year prison sentence.

The ministry reminded relevant personnel, especially those in sensitive key positions, to enhance their awareness and capabilities in safeguarding national security.

As economic development continues to grow and foreign exchange activities increase, foreign intelligence agencies are increasingly working with and recruiting individuals from important units in China to conduct espionage operations, the ministry said.

Taking the case of the military expert, surnamed Zhang, as an example. Born to a poor farming family, Zhang worked hard to perform well in his studies. In 1986, he enrolled in a university in China, specializing in navigation engineering with a focus on automatic control. Upon graduating, Zhang was assigned to a military industry unit. He is mainly engaged in military technology research and has led a team to make significant contributions to scientific and technological progress on national level.

Zhang met a foreign expert at an academic conference overseas in 2004 and maintained contact with the "expert." With the help of the "expert," Zhang was able to study abroad at a well-known university in 2011. After arriving at the country, Zhang was questioned by customs officials of that country.

In February 2012, Zhang met another person Jack, introduced by A and his assistant, during attending an international conference overseas. Jack claimed to be from a foreign naval research institute and quickly established a close relationship with Zhang by taking him on tours, lavish outings, and giving him expensive gifts. Jack also promised to help Zhang's daughter study abroad and obtain residency rights.

Jack eventually disclosed that he was an intelligence officer working overseas as a spy, seeking to collaborate with Zhang. Despite initial hesitation, Zhang ultimately agreed to work with the spy. Zhang gathered military industry intelligence and shared crucial technological secrets, resulting in significant damage to national interests, according to the ministry.

In December 2013, after a thorough investigation, the national security authorities took lawful enforcement measures against Zhang, who was about to meet with foreign intelligence agents overseas. Zhang was sentenced to 15 years in prison for espionage in accordance with law, according to the ministry.

National security authorities also reminded citizens to comply with laws and regulations, raise awareness of anti-espionage, be cautious with unidentified individuals, protect national secrets, and follow confidentiality rules during cultural or academic exchanges. 

Global Times