WASHINGTON—Beijing’s spycatchers all but blinded the U.S. in China a decade ago when they systematically rounded up a network of Chinese agents working for the CIA. As many as two dozen assets providing information to the U.S. were executed or imprisoned, among them high-ranking Chinese officials.
The CIA is still struggling to rebuild its human espionage capabilities in China, the agency’s top intelligence target, according to interviews with current and former U.S. officials. The gaps leave the U.S. with limited understanding of secret deliberations among Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his inner circle on key security issues such as Taiwan and other topics, the officials said.
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