The US government secretly released two Chinese embassy staff earlier this year, writes The New York Times based on sources. The duo is said to have entered a military base and only stopped after two fire trucks blocked the road.
According to The New York Times, US government officials think that at least one of the two is a Chinese intelligence officer posing as a diplomat. If the suspicion is true, then this is the first time in 30 years that a Chinese diplomat is suspected of espionage.
Neither the American or Chinese authorities want to confirm the case or make official comments. The story of The New York Times has been confirmed by a government source of Reuters news agency .
The pair is said to have been deported after they entered a military base in Norfolk, Virginia, with their wives in September. The group did not stop even after soldiers started the pursuit.
Eventually they were stopped when two fire engines blocked the road, on which they said they were lost, writes The New York Times.
US soon came up with new rules for Chinese diplomats
Two weeks after the security stopped the group at the base, the US government introduced new rules for Chinese diplomats. From now on they have to make a report when they meet American government officials or employees of American educational and scientific institutions.
According to Beijing, the measures are in violation of the Vienna Convention, in which the rules for diplomatic traffic are agreed.
US and China engaged in economic struggle
The September incident would confirm Washington's fears that China is intensifying US espionage activities. The two countries are engaged in an increasingly harsh geopolitics and economic struggle.
The last time Chinese diplomats were suspected of espionage was in 1987, when the US deported two Chinese embassy staff. They would have adopted secret documents from the American intelligence service NSA.