NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Sources say the U.S. has expelled two Chinese officials suspected of spying on a local military base a few months ago.
According to the New York Times, the breach happened in late September at a base near Norfolk, one of several in the area that includes special operations forces.
The report states two Chinese diplomats and their wives drove up to an entry checkpoint and a guard at the gate told them they couldn’t enter. He then instructed them to go through the gate, but to turn around and leave.
It goes on to say the group kept going straight into the base and had to be stopped by fire trucks.
When stopped, the officials said the diplomats didn’t understand the English instructions. The Times reported that military officials didn’t believe them.
Americans believe at least one of the Chinese officials was an intelligence officer operating under diplomatic cover, sources say.
The Times added that military officials believe this was a test of base security, but China has not responded to the claim.
Associates of Chinese embassy officials said they were told that the expelled officials were on a sightseeing tour when they accidentally drove onto the base.
The situation has intensified the concerns of the Trump administration that China is expanding its spying efforts in the U.S.
American intelligence officials tell the New York Times that China poses the greatest espionage threat compared to other countries.
10 On Your Side has reached out to officials at local bases for a response to the Times article, but has yet to hear back.
Stay with WAVY.com for updates in this developing story.