Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, asked by a reporter in Beijing on Monday (July 27) about the spying case in the United States involving Singaporean Dickson Yeo, said he was not aware of it.
According to a report in CNA, he had said in response to a question: “I’m not aware of what you just mentioned, but I would like to point out that lately, US law enforcement has been busy hyping up the so-called China infiltration and espionage issues to the point of paranoia.”
Mr Wang said the US should also be honest about its espionage activities. He stated: “The world has seen the act of the real thief crying ‘stop the thief’ too many times… We urge the US to stop using the so-called espionage issue to smear China.”
Having been identified as working for Chinese intelligence, Yeo, 39, pleaded guilty in a US court last week. While in the US, he had allegedly targeted US citizens, including an army officer at the Pentagon, who had valuable information for the Chinese.
According to reports, Yeo was recruited when he was pursuing his doctorate in the National University of Singapore. In 2015, he flew to Beijing for a presentation on the political scene in South-east Asia. His presentation gained the attention of individuals who claimed to be part of a Chinese think-tank. They subsequently offered Yeo monetary incentives in exchange for political reports.
A signed statement of facts revealed that at least four of these individuals were intelligence operatives for the Chinese government. The individuals wanted Yeo to sign a contract to aid the People’s Liberation Army but he did not do so. However, he decided to continue with other operatives for the Chinese.
Yeo will be sentenced on Oct 9 and faces up to 10 years in jail in the US. /TISG