One risk that Chinese leader Xi Jinping faces with his so called anti-corruption campaign is that a suspected official does the runner and defects to the U.S., and gives up state secrets.
That appears to have happened, with one Party official who recently handed over sensitive information — which included nuclear weapons information — to the Americans, according to The Sunday Times.
Based on information published by two independent Hong Kong political magazines, The Sunday Times reported that: “China’s Communist cadres have been told the Party faces its most damaging case of treason since the founding of the regime in 1949.”
Hong Kong magazines, Qianshao and Chengming, somehow got a hold of a confidential speech about the supposed act of treason given by the regime’s security chief, Meng Jianzhu, to high ranking Chinese Communist Party officials.
In his speech, Meng informed the officials that a defector had provided the Americans with three categories of classified information, which included:
- Plans and security information of Zhongnanhai, which houses most of the Party leadership plus the offices of the State Council and the Communist Party
- Information on the regime’s command and control systems during times of crisis
- Details of the regime’s non-conventional weapons, including nuclear weapons systems and protocols
The magazines named the defector as Ling Wancheng, the brother of Ling Jihua, a former top aide to previous Communist Party leader, Hu Jintao. Ling Wancheng fled China to the U.S. with reportedly around 2,700 classified documents in his possession after his brother was arrested by the authorities following a car crash scandal involving his son.
Ex-leader Hu has not been implicated in the affair.
See a report about Ling Jihua’s arrest here from wochit News:
According to The Sunday Times, Meng’s speech gave details of a failed attempt to lure Ling Wancheng back to China, and the resulting consequences of the defection.
The Ling brothers were both placed under investigation in 2014 as part of Xi’s anti-corruption drive, reports Shanghaiist.
Xi’s so-called anti-corruption drive is seen by many China watchers as Party infighting, with the current leader mostly targeting a network of cronies who were aligned with a faction linked to another ex-party leader, Jiang Zemin.
There have been reports that Jiang himself has secretly been “placed under control,” and that it is only a matter of time until he will be openly charged. See more on that in this episode of China Uncensored: