A new spy case and a study shed light on murky U.S.-China espionage wars.
Greetings from the Rhode Island shore, where I’m squeezing in a last few days of ocean dips, lobster and the legendary local quahog “stuffies” before shifting SpyTalk into higher gear after Labor Day.
One thing I‘m keeping an eye on is the uptick in China spy cases over the past several months. One of the more intriguing cases is the August 14 arrest of a Hong Kong-born former CIA officer who the feds say has been spying for China for decades. Alexander Yuk Ching Ma joined the CIA in 1982, resigned in 1989 and moved to Shanghai, where he “lived and worked...before arriving in Hawaii in 2001.” There, according to the charging documents, Ma applied for a job with the FBI, which eventually hired him as a linguist. At some point he linked up with a Shanghai-born relative, also a former CIA officer, in a scheme to steal U.S. secrets “over the course of a decade” for his Beijing spy handlers.
But here’s just one of the many tantalizing things about the case: Ma and his relative, who has been…
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