Chinese man held for spying on country's first aircraft carrier

Beijing: A Chinese man has been arrested for allegedly spying on country's first aircraft carrier for a foreign nation in eastern Shandong Province.

Liaoning, China's first aircraft carrier was berthed in the port city of Qingdao when a local man, surnamed Cao, tried to click photographs and more information, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported today.

The man, who was recruited by a foreign spy to take photos of mainland military bases, has been apprehended and awaiting sentencing, the report said.

State-run CCTV reported that Cao, whose full name and age were not given, was one of a number of young Chinese professionals and students who were lured with offers of money by foreign spies on the internet.

He came to the security bureau's attention in January after he was found "lurking" and taking photos of an aircraft carrier base in Qingdao at dawn, the report said, adding that police seized a camera, telescope, laptop computer, cell phones and other equipments when they arrested Cao.

He confessed that he went to the base after being commissioned by a man claiming to be the editor of a military magazine. The "editor" called him at the end of last year, offering him a "field inspection" project.

Cao, an employee of a large company in Shandong province, said he was contacted by the man shortly after listing his information at online job sites.

In order to complete his assignments, which earned him anything between USD 150 to USD 1500, Cao bought more equipments including a telescope and a mobile phone lens to take better quality photos.

Early this year, Cao sneaked into a military airport to take photos with his new camera for one of his assignments.

Spying cases are rarely discussed by the state-run media as they imply internal security failures but, according to the CCTV report, individual internet users are easily manipulated by foreign spies to conduct espionage against China.

In recent years, similar incidents have surfaced in Shandong, Hainan, Zhejiang, Anhui and other provinces.

In one instance, a man surnamed Xu was arrested for taking photos of a Hainan naval port and airport for a foreign spy, the Post report said.

In May, the Global Times said state security organisations discovered at least 30 students at leading high schools or military-related universities had agreed to work for overseas spies for extra cash since 2012.

 

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