The US is experiencing another spy scandal.
To tell the truth, this is not a sensation at all as scandals of the sort occur in different countries from time to time. However, this particular scandal is really peculiar. Chinese rights activist and sociologist Gao Zhan is the central figure of the scandal.
In 2001, when the Chinese authorities arrested Gao Zhan on charges of espionage in favor of Taiwan, a large-scale campaign was started in the US in support of the Chinese sociologist. George W. Bush personally asked Jiang Zemin to release Gao Zhan. The Chinese released the rights activist by deporting her in two days after the court found her guilty of espionage.
As it turned out, Gao Zhan was not a mere rights activist but also worked for the Chinese Ministry of Defense. She has been living in the US since 1989. The US special services found out that within the period of 1998 - 2001, under the name of Gail Heights and through false companies, Gao Zhan purchased chips, processors and other high-tech equipment and sent them further to China.
Russia's online source Lenta.ru reports, activity of Gao Zhan drew attention of the US customs authorities in 2000. After a search in her house, the police discovered delivery contracts concluded with different Chinese structures, particularly those related to the army and defense establishments.
The prosecution managed to prove only one instance of sale; on July 12, 2000 Gao's company purchased 80 chips and further sent them to China. According to an agreement concluded with the investigation, the Chinese rights activist agreed that the authorities would withdraw $505,000 obtained with the contract and that $89,000 more would go to pay taxes and penalty fees.
Gao Zhan may be sentenced to 10-year imprisonment, but she has made a deal with the investigation that hopes to find other suppliers of products banned for export to China. But there is one thing that is particularly surprising in the reports about the Chinese spy's machinations. The US authorities still cannot understand why China suspected Gao Jan of espionage in favor of Taiwan at the time when she has been working for the Chinese authorities for so many years. There is an obvious explanation to the fact: the Chinese wanted to cover up Gao Zhan and expected to continue the cooperation with her. This explains the charges of espionage, the subsequent arrest and commitment.
However, there is another fact that has become quite obvious. It is an open secret that for several years China has been the leader in espionage against the US. The numerous Chinese diaspora in America, a large number of students, scientists and businessmen from China residing in the US make the task of the Chinese intelligence easier. May it be so that some of Chinese rights activists in the US may be an intelligencer? The Chinese special services would have been poor experts if they had not used this wonderful cover. At the same time, this is a convenient opportunity to discredit the Chinese movement of rights activists who have been always treated with sympathy in America. This is a wonderful moment to kill two birds with one stone.