One of China’s highest-ranking counterintelligence officers has reportedly defected to the United States. This person may have also handed over secrets regarding Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) that influenced the White House’s recent turn to supporting the lab leak origin theory.
The spy chief in question is Dong Jingwei. Reports claim that he and his daughter boarded a plane in Hong Kong in mid-February bound for the U.S.
Upon landing in America, Dong immediately contacted the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to inform government officials of his intention to defect.
For about two weeks after he contacted government officials, he “hid in plain sight.” He disappeared into DIA custody afterward and has not been heard from since.
Before his defection, Dong was working for China’s Ministry of State Security (Guoanbu). This is the government ministry that handles the state’s secret police, as well as its spying and counterintelligence operations. The Department of Justice has described it as an institution that combines the powers and responsibilities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Dong was in charge of most spy-catching operations in China. In 2018 he was promoted to become the Guoanbu’s director of the political department as well as vice minister of state security.
The former spy chief also reportedly had a very close relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping. This was developed before he became vice-minister, while he was still head of the Guoanbu office in the Hebei Province. This province has produced many “securocrats” – military and intelligence officials with political power – loyal to Xi.
The reports of Dong’s defection are still largely unverified. But if they are true, that would make Dong the highest-level defector in recent Chinese history.
Chinese defector allegedly gave up secrets about Wuhan coronavirus lab
As part of his defection, Dong also allegedly supplied the U.S. with “information about the Wuhan Institute of Virology” that could influence the policies of President Joe Biden’s administration regarding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Red State, one of the first media outlets to break the story, Dong provided intelligence officials with information regarding the WIV’s early pathogenic studies on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Dong also provided intelligence agents with models that predicted how COVID-19 would spread and how much damage it would do to the U.S. and the rest of the world. (Related: High-ranking CCP defector claims to have “direct knowledge” of Chinese special weapons programs, including biological weapons like SARS-CoV-2.)
The former spy chief also reportedly handed over financial records that named the governments and organizations that provided the WIV with funding for research into SARS-CoV-2. These records also allegedly prove that foreign funding supported Chinese biological warfare research.
Apart from information regarding the coronavirus, Dong also provided the DIA with:
- Financial records naming American businessmen and government officials who have received money from the Chinese government.
- Names of American citizens who provided Beijing with crucial intelligence.
- Names of Chinese spies working in the U.S. or attending American universities.
- Details of meetings between government officials and Chinese and Russian spies.
Dong’s status is currently unknown. But reports indicate that Beijing dispatched envoys to meet with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken sometime in March to discuss repatriating Dong back to China.
The Chinese envoys met with Blinken during China’s first meeting with Biden administration officials in Alaska. The envoys demanded Dong be returned and Blinken reportedly refused.
Learn more about Chinese espionage programs in the U.S. as well as the threat they pose to the country by reading the latest articles at NationalSecurity.news.