China / Government

Media reveals aircraft carrier base spying case

(Agencies/ Updated: 2014-11-23 19:56

BEIJING - A Chinese man who had been arrested for taking photos of an aircraft carrier base and selling them to a foreign spy is awaiting trial, CCTV reported on Saturday.

The man, surnamed Cao, is from the eastern city of Qingdao, Shandong province. He had taken photos of an aircraft carrier base in Qingdao for a man who had claimed to be the editor of a military magazine, and was reportedly paid "a large sum of cash".

CCTV reported that the man who claimed to be an editor is a foreign spy that has long been tracked by Chinese security agencies.

Cao, a local employee of a large business, had also entered a military airport to take photos and transmitted them to the editor.

"In recent years, the number of young Internet users like Cao who look for jobs and make friends on the Internet, has been increasing," said CCTV, citing an unnamed counterintelligence official. "Some have been subverted by foreign espionage and intelligence agencies and accepted instructions from them to collect intelligence on military targets."

In August, media reported that a Chinese graduate student had been arrested for selling intelligence materials to foreigners.

In May, a court handed a 10-year prison term to an individual who leaked secret documents and photographs, including military journals and information about bases in the southern province of Guangdong to a foreign spy.

Related reading: China passes Counterespionage Law

Formerly known as the National Security Law, it includes new rules that have proven effective in practice.

The bill specifies espionage's definition: foreign organizations and individuals who conduct espionage activities or who instigate and sponsor others in conducting them will be punished, as will domestic organizations and individuals who spy on the country for foreign organizations and individuals.

It grants national security agencies the authority to ask an organization or individual to stop or change activities considered harmful to national security. If they refuse or fail to do so, the agencies will be entitled to seal or seize related properties.

The agencies are also entitled to seal and seize any device, money, venue, supplies and other properties that are related to espionage activities, according to the bill.

Hot Topics