China charges its ambassador to Iceland with spying for Japan

Authorities in China have reportedly arrested the Chinese ambassador to Iceland on suspicion of spying on behalf of Japan, according to media reports. Ma Jiseng, 57, is a career diplomat who spent over eight years at the embassy of China in Japan. He was there in two separate stints, from 1991 to 1995 and from 2004 to 2008. In December of 2012, he arrived with his wife to Reykjavik, Iceland, where he assumed the post of China’s ambassador in the Nordic island nation. But, according to reports in the Icelandic media, Ma hurriedly left Reykjavik for Beijing on January 23 of this year, telling his staff that he was supposed to return in March. His wife followed him soon afterwards. Today, nearly eight months later, Ma and his wife have yet to reappear in the Icelandic capital. The plot thickened last week, when the online Chinese-language review Mingjing News published a news story claiming that Ma and his wife had been summoned back to Beijing and arrested upon arrival by Chinese authorities “for spying on behalf of Japan”. Shortly afterwards, Kai Lei, editor at the Hong Kong-based Wenweipo Chinese-language newspaper, blogged that Ma had been “arrested by [China’s] Ministry of State Security” on suspicion of “leaking international secrets to Japan”. According to the media reports, Ma was believed to have been recruited by Japanese intelligence during his second diplomatic stint in Tokyo, which lasted from 2004 to 2008. Interestingly, however, the reports about Ma’s alleged arrest began vanishing from Chinese news media websites just hours after they initially appeared. Reporters in Iceland turned to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who said the Chinese embassy in Reykjavik claimed Ma was unable to return to Iceland “due to personal reasons”. Meanwhile, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs refuses to comment on the case. Read more of this post

Video of Chinese general’s espionage lecture leaked onto YouTube

Jin Yinan

Jin Yinan

Video footage of a lecture on recent espionage incidents against China, delivered before a vetted audience by a senior Chinese military official, has been leaked to online video sites, including YouTube. The lecturer has been identified as Major General Jin Yinan, and the location appears to be one of the main lecture halls at China’s National Defense University (NDU) in Beijing. Administered by the Central Committee of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), NDU is China’s equivalent of the United States’ West Point Military Academy. The precise date of the venue cannot be verified, though it appears to have been intended as a cautionary lesson for NDU students, on the fate that awaits Chinese officials spying against their country. In the video, General Jin laments the fact that too many Chinese Communist Party members have “become decadent” and have succumbed to selling classified national secrets to foreign adversaries. He also discusses several recent cases of espionage against China, including that of Xu Junping, a senior colonel in the PLA, who defected to the United States in December of 2000. The speaker also mentions the case of Tong Daning, a Social Security Department economist who was executed in 2006 for sharing classified Chinese economic data with Taiwanese intelligence operatives. But the primary revelations of the speech concern the cases of Li Bin and Kang Rixin, which General Jin addresses in detail. Li Bin was arrested during his tenure as China’s Ambassador to South Korea, and was eventually sentenced to a seven-year prison term for corruption. But General Jin discloses in his speech that the Ambassador was arrested for selling classified information to South Korean intelligence, and that the Chinese prosecutors decided to bring him up on corruption charges, to “avoid embarrassing [our] country”. Read more of this post

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