China Eliminated US Spy Network

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The newspaper cited 10 current and former American officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity and described how Beijing systematically dismantled the CIA's spying efforts.

The full report was compiled by the New York Times after speaking to almost a dozen C.I.A. and F.B.I. contacts who commented only on condition of anonymity.

The report comes as the USA government struggles to deal with documents published by WikiLeaks a year ago and investigates ties between President Trump's campaign and Russian Federation, which the us intelligence community has said tried to infer in the election.

Investigators still aren't sure whether a spy within the Central Intelligence Agency betrayed the sources or if the Chinese hacked the CIA's systems.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying declined to comment on the specifics of the report, telling a daily news briefing she did not know anything about it.

The breach predated the 2015 Chinese hack of the USA government's Office of Personnel Management, in which four million current and former federal employees had their personal information stolen.

Some investigators believed he had become disgruntled and had begun spying for China.

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The CIA's mole hunt in China, following the severe losses to its network there, was intense and urgent.

The agency now believes a mole was responsible.

Still others thought the breach was a result of careless spy work including traveling the same routes to the same meeting points or meeting sources at restaurants where Chinese had planted listening devices, the newspaper said.

The man defended his reasons for living in Asia and did not admit any wrongdoing, an official said.

Other officials who talked to The New York Times suspect that China hacked the covert communications channel.

Officials said it was one of the worst security breaches of recent years. The US is still trying to rebuild its intelligence gathering network in China. A year ago an Federal Bureau of Investigation employee pleaded guilty to relaying sensitive technology information to the Chinese government in return for money, hotels and prostitutes.

In March, prosecutors announced the arrest of a long-time state department employee, Candace Marie Claiborne, accused of lying to investigators about her contacts with Chinese officials.