On Thursday, the U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter admitted that Russian hackers had infiltrated into Pentagon’s computer network earlier this year. It was the latest high-profile hack of the U.S. government networks by Russian hackers. Over the past few months, Washington has also accused China of hacking the U.S. satellite network, weather systems, and the U.S. Postal Service network.
The book sheds light on some of the CIA’s darkest secrets
But, not too long ago, the CIA was actively working with Chinese intelligence agencies to target Russia. According to a recently published book The Hundred Year Marathon by former Pentagon official Michael Pillsbury, the covert CIA-China cooperation was part of Washington’s program to destroy the Soviet Union and then Russia.
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The book was published after being cleared by the CIA, FBI and Pentagon, reports Bill Gertz of The Washington Times. The clandestine cooperation started in 1970s when China realized that the Soviet Union’s Marxist-Leninist economic model was doomed. Beijing started moving closer to the U.S. for economic benefits as it continued to create an overhauled communist economic system with Chinese characteristics.
Michael Pillsbury was the in-charge of covert operations. The CIA and Chinese agencies worked together on an electronic spying program code-named Chestnut that targeted the Soviet Union and then Russia. The U.S. intelligence agency also conducted covert operations to ship Chinese arms to Afghan rebels battling Soviet forces.
China sold weapons to CIA to give them to rebels
In a revelation that could embarrass China, the book mentions that the U.S. and Chinese agencies carried out an operation to arm 50,000 anti-Vietnam rebels in Cambodia starting 1982. The initial budget for this operation was $2 million a year, which was later increased to $12 million per year. “The Chinese not only sold the weapons to us to give to the rebels, but also advised us on how to conduct these covert operations,” Pillsbury said.
Pillsbury told Inside the Ring that he was “delighted” that many of the things that would have been considered classified a few years ago were approved for publishing. Ronald Reagan also provided China advanced technology under a secret directive to strengthen China. The U.S. discontinued military assistance after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, but continued to provide other assistance.