A security ministry official in China has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the US and passing on state secrets, Hong Kong media reports said.
The official, who was working as the private secretary for a vice-minister in the security ministry, was arrested earlier this year, the BBC reports.
If charges of spying are confirmed against the official, it would be the third major incident that will hit China-US relations in the past few months.
It would also be the highest-level spying case involving China and the US to become public since 1985, when intelligence official Yu Qiangsheng defected to the US.
According to local media reports, the official was recruited by the CIA.
The official ‘fell trap to pretty woman’ set up by the CIA, Hong Kong-based Oriental Daily quoted the monthly New Way as saying. The official was blackmailed and agreed to provide secret information to the US after the two were photographed in secret relationships, the reports reveals.
The official was arrested between January and March on allegations that he had passed information to the US for several years on China’s overseas espionage activities, the report said.
The Chinese foreign ministry has however not responded to the reports. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also declined to comment on the reports.