China’s national anti-graft watchdog is investigating the alleged involvement of one of the top executives at the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) in passing secrets about the Liaoning aircraft carrier to US intelligence operatives, according to the latest reports.
The Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervision Commission posted a one-line announcement on June 18 alerting the public that the senior executive was under investigation.
According to the report by Asia Times Thursday, CSIC general manager Sun Bo is the subject of a new criminal investigation for potential "gross violation of laws and party discipline".
Sun allegedly passed along classified information to the US' Central Intelligence Agency regarding the Liaoning's design and specifications following years of modifications of the Soviet-constructed ship that took place at CSIC's Dalian shipyard. Since the design of China's first domestically-built carrier, the Type 001A, is derived significantly from the Liaoning in terms of design, multiple Chinese outlets have questioned if Sun also gave the CIA drawings about the Type 001A, the report said.
Sun, aged 57, "spent most of his career heading the Dalian Shipyard when the Liaoning was being rebuilt there," according to the outlet.
Last month, the US Justice Department charged a CIA officer with having spied for China and aided the Chinese government. Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, allegedly gave Chinese intel officers "classified information, including but not limited to names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees".