State broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) said in a special program that an employee of a Chinese defense company was coerced into revealing Chinese state secrets while he was a visiting scholar at a U.S. university in 2013. The employee, named Hou, was then developed into a spy for the U.S., according to the report. Hou was arrested for espionage. CCTV’s coverage of his case highlights Beijing’s desire to steer public sentiment in China regarding Chinese state security and involvement with the U.S.
CCTV said that a professor in the U.S. introduced Hou to someone claiming to work for a consulting firm, and that this person was actually a U.S. intelligence officer. Over time, the intelligence officer cultivated a close relationship with Hou and paid him to provide information about China. Although Hou acted under duress, he was arrested in July 2021 by Chinese authorities and charged with espionage. The report stated that Hou has now been sent to stand trial, and that the case was a major security breach engineered by the U.S.
The CCTV program said that “any acts jeopardizing China’s security would be punished” and that China’s Ministry of State Security had issued a reminder that espionage often involves deception. The program did not name the university that Hou visited, nor did it name his work unit.
Source: Radio France International, October 22, 2023