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Intelligence windfall for U.S. from brother of ex-Chinese official:report

ROC Central News Agency

2016/02/05 00:21:01

Washington, Feb. 4 (CNA) A Chinese defector has been reportedly revealed some of the innermost secrets of the Chinese government and military, including details of its nuclear command and control system, according to a report by the Washington Free Beacon, citing American intelligence officials.

Businessman Ling Wancheng (令完成) disappeared from public view in California last year shortly after his brother, Ling Jihua (令計劃), a former high-ranking official in the Communist Party, was arrested in China on corruption charges, the report said.

Ling Wancheng, the defector, has been undergoing a debrief by FBI, CIA, and other intelligence officials since last fall at a secret location in the U.S., said officials familiar with details of the defection who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ling Wancheng, is said to be a target of covert Chinese agents seeking to capture or kill him.

Among the information disclosed by Ling are details about the procedures used by Chinese leaders on the use of nuclear weapons, such as the steps taken in preparing nuclear forces for attack and release codes for nuclear arms.

Spokesmen for the White House, FBI, CIA, and Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on the case, the report said.

Other officials said Ling Wancheng defected sometime in the summer of 2015 after his brother, once a close aide to former top Chinese leader Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), came under suspicion for leaking state secrets.

Intelligence officials said Ling, if confirmed as a legitimate defector in debriefings over the next several months, would have the most privileged information of any defector from China to the United States in more than 30 years, according to the report.

'This is an intelligence windfall,' said one senior official.

The events surrounding Ling's defection and his brother's arrest appear to be part of a complex internal power struggle in China led by current leader Xi Jinping (習近平) targeting hundreds of Party leaders and officials. Under the guise of a nationwide anticorruption drive within the Chinese leadership, Xi is said to be systematically removing rivals from previous administrations.

The defection was triggered by the arrest of Ling's brother, Ling Jihua, who personally kept some 2,700 internal documents from a special Communist Party unit he headed until 2012. The unit was in charge of storing and archiving classified documents, according to the report.

Ling Jihua then gave the documents to his brother, who owns a US$2.5 million residence in Loomis, California, near Sacramento. The classified documents were transferred between the brothers as a safety measure: They were intended to be used as leverage to dissuade Chinese authorities from taking action against Ling Jihua.

According to the officials, Ling Wancheng, the defector, kept the documents for safekeeping and was directed to release them to U.S. authorities in the event Ling Jihua were arrested.

China announced in July it was prosecuting Ling Jihua for disclosing secrets, taking bribes, conducting illicit sexual affairs, and influence pedaling. The former official is currently undergoing harsh interrogation in China.

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