CHINA TOPIX

Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Two Men Caught Selling Military Secrets To Foreign Spies Sent To Jail

Security cameras infront of giant portrait of former Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Nov. 11, 2012.

(Photo : Reuters/David Gray) Security cameras are attached to a pole in front of the giant portrait of former Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong on Beijing's Tiananmen Square, near the Great Hall of the People where the 18th National Party Congress (NPC) is currently being held, November 11, 2012.

Two men who were convicted for selling military secrets to foreign spies, including hundreds of pictures of of the country's lone aircraft carrier, are now serving their prison sentences in Beijing.

State media Dalian Daily reports that the men had taken photographs of thousands of images of military targets and projects in China, as well as recordings and other pieces of confidential material.

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Afterwards, they peddled these items to foreign intelligence services.

The newspaper describes the prisoners as ordinary laborers who had taken advantage of their entry privileges to military bases in Dalian in northeast China.

One of the men, known only as Han, reportedly had contacts with a person who had identified himself as a mediaman on a popular mobile chat application.

The other man in prison is 23 years old and he bears the surname Zhang.

Zhang had gathered sensitive materials on orders of a foreign intelligence operative.

He took hundreds of pictures of the Liaoning aircraft carrier, which was displayed in a Beijing airshow last summer.

Han and Zhang were arrested later on by public security agents.

Two months ago, the court sentenced Han to eight years of incarceration, while just last month, Zhang was sentenced to languish in prison for six years.

Their cases are not the only ones linked to spying in Chinese military facilities.

In November last year, a man was caught taking pictures of an aircraft carrier based in the city of Qingdao.

It was discovered that the accused was forwarding the photographs to a foreigner.

Chinese counter-intelligence officials say these days, foreign spies are hiring young Chinese internet users to collect valuable military intelligence information.

Dalian Daily sums up these spying activities by saying, "the enemy hidden on the front lines has shown itself. In recent years, foreign spies have used the internet as a battlefield for inciting rebellion within the enemy camp. And some young internet users have become targets."

But the paper also says the recruitment process perpertrated by foreign spies can still be detected and blocked.

"The methods of the enemy may be cunning. But it is completely possible to guard against them," the newspaper states.

China and the United States often accuse one another of hacking and cyber spying and this had put a strain in the relations between the two global powers.

China's laws on state secrets are very broad and all-encompassing.

One person can be easily tried for spying, just by the person's possession of important industry data.

The accused may also be sent to trial should he be proven to have collected information on the exact birth dates of China's national leaders.

Any document that may currently seem like an ordinary piece of information may later on be considered a state secret.

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