Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Carry on Spying ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Carry on Spying
Category: Relationships and Society > Politics
Asked by: mongolia-ga
List Price: $35.00
Posted: 03 Dec 2005 15:11 PST
Expires: 02 Jan 2006 15:11 PST
Question ID: 601031
During the Maoist period in the Peoples Republic of China (Oct 1949 -
Sept 1976) I would like 5 examples of Foreign Agents who operated
within the People's Republic of China.

The agents could be operatives of countries which were hostile,
neutral or friendly to China over the period of time mentioned (Agents
operating on behalf of US,UK, France, USSR, North Korea, South Korea ,
Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan,Israel, India, Pakistan, Canada or South Africa
can all be included)

I would ideally like the name of the agent and a brief description of
the counter intelligence activity they would have been involved in.

A code name would also suffice if for security reasons the name of the
agent can stil not be identified. However I in each case i need to
know what country the agent was operating on behalf of.

Your Truly


Clarification of Question by mongolia-ga on 05 Dec 2005 17:54 PST
did not know this was such a really difficult question  :-). I thought
someone out there (Scriptor? czh? politicalguru? pafalafa?) would have
come up with an answer to my little question.

Or perhaps Larry and Sergey need to hire more GAR's  ???? :-)

Subject: Re: Carry on Spying
Answered By: czh-ga on 06 Dec 2005 16:02 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello mongolia-ga,

This question was as tough as your earlier question that I worked on
about US citizens visiting China during the Mao years. It is very
difficult to find authoritative information about China during the
stretch from 1949 to 1976, and it is especially difficult to find
solid information about spies who were operating in China in that
period. Fortunately, some documents are finally getting declassified.
Much of the spying against China was/is done by aerial and satellite
reconnaissance but I was also able to locate some individual stories.
I hope that these accounts will meet your needs.

Your questions about China are very intriguing. Are you working on a book?

All the best.

~ czh ~

CIA Star Agent No. 1 - Douglas S. Mackiernan
INTO TIBET:  The CIA?s First Atomic Spy and His Secret Expedition to Lhasa

"One spring day in 1950, an American was shot and beheaded while
attempting to reach Tibet from far northwestern China. He was Douglas
Mackiernan, the first CIA agent killed in the line of duty. Mackiernan
had been spying in China. Ironically, it was Tibetans who killed him.
Details of his murder were kept secret for fifty years.


The first to die was Douglas Mackiernan. Undercover as a State
Department diplomat, the US Army Air Corps Major worked in the capital
of China's Xinjiang (Sinkiang) province, which Gup says "was widely
regarded as the most remote and desolate consulate on earth." He went
there m May 1947 to keep an eye on China's border with the Soviet
Union and to monitor the Husskies' atomic tests. In late September
1949, during the Communist takeover of China, Mackiernan left, but it
was too late to use normal routes. Incredibly, he decided to go by
foot during winter all the way to India, which would take him across a
desert and the Himalayas. He, three White Russians, and a Fulbright
scholar slogged the 1,000-mile trek in eight months. On April 29,
1950, they managed lo reach the border of Tibet, but guards there
thought the men were commies or bandits, and opened fire on them.


Spying on China Is Not New 

AP(Associated Press) released an article Wednewsday about a pilotless
U.S. spy plane shot down by Chinese forces on Hainan Island in 1970.

The article said references to the Feb. 10, 1970 incident were
contained in a State Department memorandum that was declassified last


CIA and Britain monitored Mao?s nuclear secrets
Michael Sheridan, Hong Kong
THE CIA obtained ?excellent samples? of airborne debris from China?s
first nuclear test explosion in a cold war espionage coup that was
confirmed for the first time last week.


Appendix B: Hans Tofte and the US CIA

The USAF planes were augmented by the CIA's own air force, CAT. Gen.
Claire Chennault and Whiting Willauer originally formed CAT in 1946 to
provide air transportation in China. The cargo business was
supplemented by covert action missions for the CIA dating back to Oct.
10, 1949, China's national day. CAT was ejected from China in January
1950 and it followed Chiang Kai Sek to Formosa. By early 1950, CAT's
commercial and CIA business had dried up and Chennault and company
faced imminent bankruptcy. On March 24, 1950, the CIA purchased CAT
outright. In July 1950, the CIA assigned three CAT planes to ferry CIA
agents between Korea and Japan.


Raiders of the China Coast: CIA Covert Operations During the Korean
War (Special Warfare Series) (Hardcover)
by Frank Holober

Book Description
In an effort to divert China's attention from the Korean front in 1950
and relieve pressure on the allied forces, the CIA sponsored a series
of raids along the southeastern coast of China conducted by
anti-Communist guerrillas. The guerrillas were trained and supported
by the paramilitary arm of the CIA from coastal islands still in
Nationalist hands, and their covert operations remained sealed from
public view. Now for the first time in print, the full dramatic story
of this large-scale paramilitary campaign is revealed by a veteran of
the operations.

Author Frank Holober, a Harvard-educated Chinese specialist and
veteran intelligence officer, takes the reader inside the little-known
world of clandestine partisan operations early in the Cold War. In
lively, straightforward prose, he describes the dangerous top-secret
raids launched by Chinese Nationalist guerrillas (assisted by a
colorful band of American adventurers) from Quemoy and other
lesser-known islands off the Chinese mainland. Both anecdotal and
analytical, his book is serious history with humorous overtones, based
on his own experience and those of his comrades.


China Hands: Nine Decades of Adventure, Espionage, and Diplomacy in
Asia. James Lilley with Jeffrey Lilley

Ambassador James Lilley's memoir begins with his childhood in China,
where his father served with Standard Oil. Lilley left China to attend
Exeter and Yale, but upon graduation, he was recruited -- along with
nearly 100 Yale classmates -- into the newly formed CIA for what would
turn out to be a career spent mostly back in Asia. After clandestine
service in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Laos, Lilley became a member of the
first official U.S. team posted in Beijing after President Richard
Nixon's opening of relations with China. (Henry Kissinger negotiated
the placement of intelligence officers in each mission so the White
House would be able to bypass the State Department.)

China Hands: Nine Decades of Adventure, Espionage, and Diplomacy in
Asia by James Lilley

Born and raised in pre-war Tsingtao (Qingdao) from 1928, Lilley spent
twenty-seven years as an undercover CIA operative in some of the
hottest outposts of Cold War Asia. Posted to Beijing in 1973 as the
"declared agent" in America's first diplomatic mission to the People's
Republic, he caught the eye of up-and-coming Ambassador George H.W.
Bush. Through this association Lilley later joined the U.S. State
Department, ultimately serving as Taiwan representative and Ambassador
to South Korea and China, each time at critical moments in those
countries' recent histories (including Tiananmen). From beginning to
end, his personal narrative neatly parallels the larger story of
America's 20th century engagement with Asia.

Lilley was the U.S. ambassador to China from 1989 to 1991. He also
served the CIA in China from 1975 to 1978.


Family, friends honor missing pilot for CIA

Yesterday, family and friends remembered Norman Schwartz, a Louisville
native and decorated Marine pilot who disappeared 51 years ago when
his plane was shot down in China near the North Korean border. His
remains have never been found.

In November 1952, Schwartz was flying a C-47 with Robert Snoddy of
Eugene, Ore., and two CIA officers, Richard Fecteau and Jack Downey,
when the plane was shot down. The crew were attempting to pick up a
Nationalist Chinese agent near the North Korean border in the
Manchuria region.

Schwartz, who was 30, and Snoddy died and reportedly were buried at
the site. Fecteau and Downey were tried as spies in China and given
20-year prison sentences. U.S. officials would say only that the plane
had crashed into the Sea of Japan during a routine trip between Korea
and Japan.

Schwartz's family initially accepted the story but later grew
suspicious after reading foreign news accounts of the incident. It
wasn't until the 1970s, when Fecteau and Downey were released, that
Washington admitted it had carried out spy missions in China.


A spy thriller that isn?t fiction!
Kirpal Singh Grewal 

Spies in the Himalayas: Secret Missions and Perilous Climbs
by M.S. Kohli and Kenneth Conboy.

India?s Intelligence Bureau and the CIA of the USA set upon a joint
effort to plant a nuclear-powered sensing device on a high Himalayan
peak in order to listen in to messages from China and monitor its
missile launches. The mission required accomplished mountaineers
instead of career spies. This vacuum was filled by one of the authors,
Capt M.S. Kohli of the Indian Navy, famous for conquering Mount
Everest in 1965 and producing a number of books related to

The Nanda Devi peak was selected for its obvious advantages. The aim
was to place an unmanned monitoring device on the peak, which would
pick up electronic activity and path profile generated by any
test-fired Chinese nuclear device in south-eastern provinces of China
or in Tibet. The activity so picked up was automatically to be relayed
to a ground station in the lower Himalayas for analysis by an American
team of experts. The device on the peak was to be powered by a
thermo-nuclear generator with radioactive fissile material.
Unfortunately, the mission was beset by the perils of hazardous
climbs, weather delays, aborted attempts and finally the accidental
loss of a generator with radioactive material along Nanda Devi slopes.

The missing radioactive sensor 

Captain M S Kohli, a member of the first Indian team to climb the
Mount Everest, is wracked by doubts about a radioactive sensor that
was left behind on Nanda Devi and its effect on the environment.

When CIA planted nuke devices atop the Himalayas


spying on china
cia OR nsa OR us OR ussr OR india "spy OR spied OR spying on china"
mongolia-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $4.00

Many thanks for an interesting answer. I suspect from your answer very
few Foreign Operatives actually were in place in China over the Maoist
I am also curious if James Lilley was actually an American agent during his
1975 to 1978 period in China.

My reason for this question was as a result of reading about a Soviet
Agent who was based in Beijing in the Mid Seventies. The agent's
codename was FENIKS  and he was actually North Korean. Because of
friendly relations between China And North Korea, the Chinese
government passed some highly secret documents to North Korean
Diplomats. FENIKS who was a North Korean diplomat (in Beijing) passed
this information onto Soviet agents.

Your idea of writing a book on the subject of my two questions on
China has intrigued me. For the moment it would be one of the World's
smaller books. However maybe I shoould indeed take up the challenge.
Kind Regards


There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy