Special to WorldTribune.com
The indictment and conviction of a State Department office manager who spied for China for nearly 10 years highlights the FBI’s failure to counter Chinese intelligence operations targeting Americans, analysts say.
The conciliatory policies on China in the Bush and Obama administrations and decades of weakened or absent counterintelligence made it easier for Candace Claiborne, a State Department office manager posted to both Beijing and Shanghai to pass internal documents to the Chinese in return for cash and gifts.
“The Trump administration was the first in years to crack down on Chinese intelligence-gathering,” security correspondent Bill Gertz noted in an April 26 report.
The White House has accused China of stealing as much as $500 billion annually in American technology and intellectual property.
Claiborne, 62, pleaded guilty last week to a single conspiracy charge of defrauding the government by lying to federal agents about extensive contacts with two Ministry of State Security (MSS) intelligence officers.
Sentencing is set for July 9. The maximum sentence for defrauding the government is five years in prison.