China Says It Unearthed a Military Spy Ring Involving 40 People

China sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for providing military secrets to overseas spy organizations as part of an espionage ring that involved 40 people in China, state media said.

A man surnamed Li became a tool for providing secret information to intelligence agencies under the guidance of a foreign spy given the name “Feige,” or Flying Brother in Chinese, the China News Service reported yesterday, citing the Guangdong provincial department of state security.

The sentencing comes two weeks after President Xi Jinping and the Central Military Commission he heads issued a document calling for better protection of military secrets. The state media report did not identify the countries involved in Li’s case or the nationality of the spy.

For “a long time” Li provided internal military publications, observation of military bases at specific times, as well as photos of equipment, China News Service said. This was a “serious threat” to national security, the report said.

Since 2007, Feige used an online bookstore as well as websites for military enthusiasts to recruit 12 people in Guangdong province and a total of 40 people across China in more than 20 different places, it said. National security is “like air and water” and is closely linked to every person, the report quoted an unnamed official from the Guangdong state secrets office as saying.

Recruited Online

Li was recruited in 2011, according to a separate report on the People’s Daily website. In May of that year, an unknown person on the QQ messaging network requested to add him as a friend. The person, using the online name “Woman Net Friend,” gradually became close to Li, it said, being a lively poster on topics from work to life. A month later, the person suddenly told Li that she was actually a man, called “Feige.”

After being lured with offers of money, Li secretly went to the National Library to order a large number of military books and periodicals only available to domestic professionals, it said.

“From there, he embarked on the road of leaking state secrets,” the report said.

China’s Central Military Commission said last month that the work of protecting military secrets was “complex and grim,” according to a report in the PLA Daily on April 22. The military should address new problems from the wide use of computer networks to mobile Internet technology, it said. The document was approved by President Xi, it said.

— With assistance by Henry Sanderson

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