The Rising Tide of China’s Human Intelligence
On Jan. 15, FBI agents arrested Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a former CIA case officer, and charged him with unlawful retention of classified information. Lee is the sixth person charged by the Justice Department in the past two years for espionage-related offenses suspected to have been conducted on behalf of the People’s Republic of China. By comparison, prior to 2015, only one or two people on average per year were arrested for such offenses.
The increased frequency of arrests—coinciding with a public March 2016 announcement by the Chinese government that intelligence efforts would be more heavily resourced—may indicate that China is scaling up traditional human intelligence efforts against the United States government.