The Unpleasant Truth About Chinese Espionage

Thanks to weak American counterintelligence and limited public awareness, the risk to Beijing is low while the rewards can be high.

Chinese espionage against the United States is in the news again. Recently in this column I explained the sensational case of Edward Lin, the Taiwanese immigrant turned U.S. Navy officer who stands accused of committing espionage against his adopted homeland. This story raises many troubling questions about the dismal state of security in our navy, which seems unable to keep secrets anymore.

Although the navy is staying tight-lipped about Lieutenant Commander Lin, it’s already evident that the damage he perpetrated—thanks to his high-level access to some of the navy’s best-guarded secrets—is daunting. Damning, too, is the news that Mr. Lin was arrested while boarding a flight bound for China, the beneficiary of his alleged betrayal. No wonder top admirals want to keep as much of his impending trial classified as possible, to prevent public discussion of how much damage this traitor wrought on our national security.

Yet this is no isolated incident. In the two weeks since the Lin story broke, we have still more cases of Chinese immigrants accused of spying against their adopted country on behalf of their ancestral one. Szuhsiung “Allen” Ho, a Chinese immigrant and naturalized American, faces a raft of charges for running an espionage ring aimed at stealing nuclear secrets for Beijing. According to the Federal indictment, at the direction of a Chinese state-owned nuclear power company Mr. Ho recruited a half-dozen engineers to get nuclear secrets that Beijing wanted but could not obtain legally from the United States.

Read the rest at the New York Observer