China Has Arrested Suspected CIA Spy
If true, would mark worst security breach in decades
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 1, 2012 12:29 PM CDT
People line up to view the embalmed body of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong at his mausoleum in Beijing, China, Tuesday, May 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

(Newser) – China has reportedly nabbed a security official insiders say has been spying for years on the CIA's behalf. Insiders say the CIA recruited the alleged spy—an aide to a security vice-minister—several years ago, and he has been offering "political, economic, and strategic intelligence" in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars. "The destruction has been massive," a source says.

The arrest occurred between January and March, according to a source, but neither US nor Chinese officials have discussed it publicly, fearing heightened diplomatic tensions. If the claims are accurate, the security breach would be the biggest known US-China spying incident since 1985, Reuters reports. At that time, a Chinese intelligence official defected to the US, where he told officials that a retired CIA analyst was spying for Beijing.