Reflections

Why the U.S. Spooked China

May 23, 2017 | 06:33 GMT
The fall of powerful Chinese politician Bo Xilai in 2013 stemmed from the same power struggles that led Beijing to redouble its counterintelligence efforts.
The fall of powerful Chinese politician Bo Xilai in 2013 stemmed from the same power struggles that led Beijing to redouble its counterintelligence efforts.
(Feng Li/Getty Images)

The U.S. administration has sprung another leak. Over the weekend, the New York Times reported on a successful Chinese counterintelligence effort from 2010 to 2012 to identify, arrest and in some cases kill Chinese informants who were allegedly working with the CIA. According to the unnamed officials cited in the report, the incident significantly reduced viable U.S. intelligence on the inner workings of Chinese politics. It also triggered accusations and recriminations within the United States' intelligence services as they tried to find and stem the leaks that tipped off Beijing. And U.S. intelligence agencies are still not sure what led to the exposure and roll-up of its espionage network inside China. Looking at the overall context of the Chinese counterintelligence operations offers some insight....

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