(USA TODAY) - A Chinese security official has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the United States for several years after falling into a "pretty woman trap" set by the CIA, Reuters and Hong Kong media are reporting.
The aide to a vice minister in China's security ministry passed details of China's overseas espionage activities, Reuters says, citing "three sources" with "direct knowledge of the matter."
"The destruction has been massive," one source said.
The unidentified aide was arrested sometime between January and March. Both countries have not publicized the incident -- the third in recent months -- "as they strive to prevent a fresh crisis in relations," Reuters writes.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined to comment, and China's foreign ministry did not respond immediately to Reuters' faxed request for comment.
The BBC says the Hong Kong-based Oriental Daily quoted a May 25 report by the monthly New Way that the official "fell into a pretty woman trap" set up by the CIA. After the two were photographed in secret liaisons, he was blackmailed and agreed to supply information to the United States. Reuters says he was paid thousands of dollars for the secrets.
The sources did not reveal the names of the spy suspect or his boss. One source said the vice minister had been suspended and is being questioned.