Former CIA officer arrested: did he leak the names of informers to China?


Former CIA officer arrested: did he leak the names of informers to China?

The New York Times says (paywall) that former CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee 李春兴 has been arrested on suspicion of identifying agency informants to the Chinese government, and charged with unlawful retention of national defense information.

  • “The Chinese government systematically dismantled CIA spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward,” according to a May 2017 story (paywall) in the Times.
  • There is some doubt that Lee’s arrest is connected to the earlier report. In his Sinocism newsletter, Bill Bishop says (paywall), “It looks like there may still be a split in the [intelligence] community over what really happened.”
  • “Witch hunt in U.S. endangers Chinese community” is how an article in the nationalistic rag Global Times described the news, connecting it to earlier media reports alleging that Wendi Deng 邓文迪 was a Chinese spy.
  • The Global Times is not entirely wrong. In this particular instance, the FBI seems to have a solid case against Lee (read the affidavit supporting charges against him here), but there is something of a reds-under-every-bed syndrome in the U.S. right now.
  • Many honorable Chinese Americans have been wrongfully accused and convicted on espionage charges in the U.S. You can hear about many of these cases in this Sinica Podcast interview with Holly Chang.

Legal rape

Earlier this week, we published a story titled “China’s first man-on-man rape conviction.”

Susan Finder, who edits the Supreme People’s Court Monitor, wrote to note that rape of men is still not a crime in China. The convicted man was charged with “using coercion to act indecently,” not actually rape.

‘There was lingerie as far as the eye could see. I felt like it was my kingdom.’

Sixth Tone has published an entertaining article about a village that has become the lingerie production capital of China. Excerpt:

Lingerie manufacturers had a bad year in 2014, when a huge anti-vice campaign was launched in Dongguan — then China’s unofficial capital of paid sex — in southern China’s Guangdong Province. Lingerie sales to sex workers, valued in the billions of yuan, disappeared practically overnight. Lei was hit hard, too; he still has outstanding payments of about 400,000 yuan today.