China’s leading intelligence agency announced on Sunday that a Chinese national, who was employed by a defense institute, has been charged with espionage on behalf of the United States. The case has been forwarded to a court in the southwestern metropolis of Chengdu for trial.
According to a television report by the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, an individual with the surname Hou, employed at an undisclosed defense institute, was sent to a U.S. university as a visiting scholar in 2013. During his time there, he was allegedly pressured into divulging Chinese state secrets.
The Chinese Ministry of State Security, in conjunction with the report, stated on its WeChat social media account on Sunday, asserting that “espionage activities often involve deceit, enticement, and collusion.”
Hou, an employee of a defense institute, has been accused by China’s top intelligence agency of engaging in alleged espionage activities on behalf of the United States. This case underscores China’s dedication to safeguarding national security and its vigorous campaign against internal corruption. In recent years, China has significantly intensified its focus on counter-espionage endeavors, resulting in the apprehension and detention of individuals suspected of engaging in espionage-related activities.
Over a series of meetings, an arrangement was established where Hou would divulge highly classified information in hour-long sessions in exchange for a $1,000 compensation, as reported. This cooperation continued even after Hou returned to China in 2014, with ongoing meetings with U.S. intelligence during international conferences. Additionally, the report states that he proactively provided intelligence related to national defense and the military industry. Following investigations conducted by the Chinese government, Hou was apprehended in July 2021 and charged with suspicion of engaging in espionage activities.
In recent years, China has apprehended and detained numerous Chinese and foreign individuals suspected of espionage, prompting concerns from the United States regarding China’s intensified efforts in counter-espionage.