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China arrests suspected CIA agent

Washington: Chinese authorities have arrested a suspected CIA agent in China who apparently worked in the Ministry of State Security, country`s main intelligence agency, a media report today said. However the US has refused to comment on this development.

"If the case were to be brought into the open, it could become another point of friction in a year of sharp diplomatic tensions between Washington and Beijing," The New York Times said in a report. According to the daily, it is unclear what kind of information the detained Chinese official is suspected of having given to the US and whether that information has compromised any operations by the Chinese government.

The Chinese-language, World Journal reported on May 27 that the suspect was the secretary of a vice minister in the Ministry of State Security. The news of the spying suspect`s detention had been circulating quietly in some foreign intelligence circles, the daily reported. "I`m not going to comment on the report that you just cited," the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, told reporters in Norway responding to a question.

"We don`t have any comment…I don`t know that we`ve had any contact with the government on it," the State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, said in response to a question at his daily news conference. According to NYT, the detention came during the same period as a series of investigations begun after the revelations in the Bo affair.

The investigations, authorised by China`s top leaders, have expanded beyond Bo to the Ministry of State Security and now include allegations of improper use of the security services by various Chinese officials and corruption, a senior administration official was quoted as saying.

"There is clearly some very intense stuff going on with the security ministry. It`s hard to tell exactly, but it`s clearly maneuvering going on after Bo," the official said on condition of anonymity given the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue.

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