New reports show that the Chinese government has been killing American CIA informants in China. On May 20, 2017, the New York Times reported that the Chinese government has "systematically dismantled" the CIA's operations in China by killing off CIA informants in the country.
The New York Times reported that between late 2010 and 2012, at least a dozen informants were killed in China, and an estimated 18 to 20 informant were either killed or imprisoned. At least one spy has been killed publicly in China.
This has been a massive breach in CIA spying operations in China. The killing of so many informants has eliminated years of intelligence work. The CIA spent a long time building a reliable network of spies in the country, only to have those informants killed off by the Chinese government.
The CIA and the FBI have refused to comment on these reports. Debate continues as to whether there was a 'mole' in the network that tipped the Chinese government off, or whether China was simply able to penetrate the CIA's communications. A former CIA official was investigated but ultimately released and allowed to return home to Asia.
Others are more reluctant to assume that someone is working for China. China is known to have a vast and effective surveillance system in place in the country. China's expansive surveillance network raises serious concerns that China simply infiltrated US intelligence and covert communications.
The New York Times reported that State Department employee Candace Marie Claiborne has been arrested and accused of lying about her communications with Chinese officials. Claiborne has received gifts, cash payments, and an apartment from Chinese officials.