The US Justice Department announced Tuesday the arrest of Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a 53-year-old former CIA officer, on charges of unlawful retention of classified information. Mainstream US media outlets indicated that it was Lee who led to some 20 US informants being killed or jailed in China from 2010 to 2012.
Cases involving Chinese infiltration and espionage have cropped up a lot recently. One day before Lee's case was released, the US media reported that US counterintelligence officials had warned the daughter and son-in-law of President Donald Trump not to be used by Chinese-American Wendi Deng Murdoch to help China.
All these reports suggest the looming of insecure times for all Chinese in the US.
Lee, a naturalized US citizen, served in the US army in the 1980s and worked for the CIA from 1994-2007. In 2012, FBI agents found in his travel luggage two small notebooks with secret records of details such as "true names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees."
But how foolish could a former CIA officer be to simply place treasonous evidence in a travel bag instead of destroying it after the failure of US intelligence on the Chinese mainland?
The CIA officer exhibited a low intelligence and emotional quotient by not destroying the evidence.
US media reported the crippling of the CIA intelligence network in China in May, and said one of the informants was shot dead "in the courtyard of a government building" as a warning to others.
But Chinese readers, astounded by the details, considered the US side must have watched too many mafia movies.
Sensational reports of Chinese infiltration and espionage and Chinese institutions jeopardizing US national security must have an unimaginable effect on the living environment of US-based Chinese expats and Chinese companies.
It's been acknowledged worldwide that in collecting intelligence there is no limit to the means used by US agents. This is adored in the country, as shown by Hollywood movies.
China is different. It never puts intelligence-gathering above overall diplomacy, nor does it turn overseas Chinese into informants.
The US seems to be mobilizing a mass movement to chase down Chinese "spies" and "penetrators." If this continues, many Chinese will be wronged and the whole Chinese community will come under much pressure, tangible or not. This will undermine their human rights.
With nearly $600 billion in annual trade, China and the US are bonded by a huge common interest and can't become enemies in traditional terms. China lags far behind the US. It cannot compete on the same level. US elites should feel ashamed of portraying China as an aggressive country disregarding all rules.