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China spy case? Civilian with Top Secret access provided info, US charges.

An employee of a defense contractor at US Pacific Command in Hawaii, a civilian with Top Secret security clearance, is charged with providing classified information to a suspected Chinese spy.

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The home, right, of civilian defense contractor Benjamin Bishop in Kapolei, Hawaii, Monday. Bishop was arrested last week on charges that he communicated US national security secrets to a woman half his age who investigators suspect is a Chinese spy.

Oskar Garcia/AP

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A civilian employee of a defense contractor at US Pacific Command in Hawaii has been arrested and charged with providing classified defense information to a woman half his age who investigators suspect is a Chinese spy.

Benjamin Bishop, 59, was arrested last week on charges that he communicated US national security secrets to the 27-year-old woman, a citizen of the People’s Republic of China.

The charges against Mr. Bishop come against the backdrop of deepening, and increasingly public, US suspicions directed toward China’s government over its knowledge of, or participation in, cyberattacks against the US and American businesses. According to US officials, cybersecurity was a topic of discussion between US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and China’s new president, Xi Jinping, in Beijing Tuesday.

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According to federal court documents, Bishop and the woman, who was in the US on a student visa, met at a conference in Hawaii concerning international military issues.

Investigators say the two had maintained an intimate, romantic relationship since June 2011. The woman was not identified by name. Agents refer to her in documents as “Person 1.”

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