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Global Times

NYT's spy in China story full of narcissism

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/22 0:13:39

The Chinese government allegedly killed or imprisoned more than a dozen CIA sources between 2010 and 2012, dismantling US spying operations in the country, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

According to the article, "Investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the CIA had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the CIA used to communicate with its foreign sources." The report included a sensational detail that one source "was shot in front of his colleagues in the courtyard of a government building - a message to others who might have been working for the CIA."

This NYT article has been widely quoted, yet its authenticity remains unknown. If CIA spying operations in China were crippled, the US has nothing to be proud of. But the NYT report portrayed the people that spied for the US as innocents, but the Chinese national security forces as merciless. The report also claimed "China has been particularly aggressive in its espionage in recent years."

If this article is telling the truth, we would like to applaud China's anti-espionage activities. Not only was the CIA's spy network dismantled, but Washington had no idea what happened and which part of the spy network had gone wrong. It can be taken as a sweeping victory. Perhaps it means even if the CIA makes efforts to rebuild its spy network in China, it could face the same result.

As for one source being shot in a government courtyard, that is a purely fabricated story, most likely a piece of American-style imagination based on ideology.

It is worth noting that the NYT report comes at a time when Sino-US relations are relatively smooth with some unsolved problems. The first round of China-US diplomatic and security dialogue will be held in June. Many American political elites are willing to see more friction between China and the US. Now with the latest report, they have found a new angle to stir up distrust between the US and China over espionage.

It is well known that the US is the world's largest intelligence-gatherer. It not only defines the moral standards of spies based its own national interests, but also tries to make these standards universal. The NYT report seems to be a white-knuckle beginning for a new version of Mission: Impossible: American spies who worked in China disappeared, and some of them died miserably. However, no one knew the reason for their deaths. The journalists who wrote the report must have been deeply addicted to the franchise.

The CIA has apparently increased its espionage activities in China, which will inevitably lead to China simultaneously strengthening its counterintelligence efforts. No matter how Americans see it, international law will affirm that China's anti-espionage activities are just and legal, while the CIA's spying is illegitimate.

When the US media is keen on hyping up "catching Chinese spies," they should forego their moral narcissism when reporting CIA espionage in China. It's absurd that under their description, the US is always the noble side whether it is catching spies or sending spies.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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