Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

China’s Ties to Chile Compromising US Defense Secrets?

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 19, 2011

From here:

A newly released State Department cable reveals Chinese intelligence-gathering efforts in Chile and U.S. concerns that Beijing’s growing ties to the Chilean military will compromise U.S. defense secrets shared with the South American nation’s armed forces.

“Sources have told the [U.S.] Embassy [in Santiago] that Chile’s close military ties with the United States are of great interest to the Chinese,” said the Aug. 29, 2005, cable, labeled “secret.”

“There is concern that the Chinese could be using Chilean officers and access to the Army training school to learn more about joint programs, priorities and techniques that the Chileans have developed with their U.S. counterparts.”

The cable said U.S. officials based in Chile worked with their Chilean counterparts to “sensitize them to the security and intelligence threats emanating from China.”

The cable, which was released by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, is a rare disclosure of U.S. government concerns about Chinese intelligence-gathering, a problem highlighted by numerous U.S. espionage-related cases and technology-theft prosecutions over the past five years.

**FILE** President Obama walks with the Chilean Foreign Affairs Minister Alfredo Moreno (center right) and Gen. Marcos Gonzalez (center left) upon his arrival in Santiago, Chile, on March 21. (Associated Press)

The cable said Chinese intelligence and security organizations will step up spying in the key South American state as its business interests grow.

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