SPONSORED:

Two Chinese diplomats expelled after breaching US military base: report

Two Chinese diplomats expelled after breaching US military base: report
© Getty Images

Two Chinese diplomats were quietly expelled from the U.S. after breaching a military base in September, The New York Times reported Sunday. 

The Chinese Embassy officials drove onto a military base that includes Special Operations forces near Norfolk, Va., sources told the Times, which added that they became the first Chinese officials to be expelled in more than 30 years.

U.S. officials believe at least one of the Chinese officials was an intelligence officer who was working under a diplomatic guise, according to the Times. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The Chinese officials and their wives reportedly drove to a checkpoint on the base where a guard told them to go through the gate and turn around to exit. Instead, the officials continued on until fire trucks blocked them, according to the Times. They claimed they did not comprehend the English instructions and got lost while sightseeing, people briefed on the matter told the newspaper. 

The incident reportedly reinforced President TrumpDonald TrumpProject Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report Cheney: Fox News has 'a particular obligation' to refute election fraud claims The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE’s fears about Chinese spying in the U.S.

U.S. officials told the Times that Chinese diplomats have been exploring and appearing unannounced at research or government facilities. The State Department recently announced limits on Chinese diplomats’ actions in the country, including providing required notice before meeting with officials or visiting educational or research institutions, the newspaper noted.    

Before news of the expulsions surfaced, the State Department said the restrictions were a reaction to similar Chinese regulations for American diplomats. The military base incident reportedly sped up the process of implementing these rules.

The Hill reached out to the State Department and the Chinese Embassy for comment.

Tensions between China and the U.S. are already high amid a trade war between the countries. The two countries came out with a "phase one" of the trade agreement last week.