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The Chinese government has killed or jailed between 18 and 20 CIA informants in the course of two years, US officials say.
An intelligence breach lasting from 2010 to the end of 2012 led to imprisonment or killing of the sources working for the US Central Intelligence Agency, two American officials told The New York Times as cited in a Saturday report.
The move systematically dismantled the agency’s operations in the country by undoing the spy network.
The blow triggered a joint investigation by the CIA and FBI, code named “Honey Badger,” in the north of the US state of Virginia.
The defeat could have been caused by a Chinese hacking of a CIA communications system or by a mole.
An FBI employee pleaded guilty to relaying sensitive technology information to Beijing for money and prostitutes last year.
During a recent visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, US President Donald Trump hailed the beginning of “a very, very great relationship” with Beijing.
He also accepted an invitation to pay a state visit to the Chinese capital “with pleasure.”