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National Economic Council Chairman Lawrence H. Summers said the minerals issue poses “serious questions, both in the economic and in the strategy realm, that are going to require close study within our government.”

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is in Vietnam this week for a regional summit with China-related issues at the forefront, just months after she helped line up several nations in the region against China’s territorial claims.

Wang Baodong, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy, said the Shriver case was based on “fabricated allegations” aimed at defaming China.

China “never engages itself in activities that will harm other countries’ national interests, and it’s sincere in developing Sino-U.S. relations of mutual benefit,” he said.

According to the statement of facts made public Friday, Shriver returned to China in 2004 after studying as an exchange student at East China Normal University in Shanghai. He was recruited into Chinese intelligence after responding to an advertisement offering pay for writing a political assessment of U.S.-China relations on North Korea and Taiwan by a woman named Amanda.

The woman then arranged for Shriver to meet with two Chinese intelligence officers, identified in court papers as “Mr. Wu” and “Mr. Tang,” who persuaded Shriver to join the State Department, CIA or U.S. law enforcement agencies.

“If it’s possible, we want to you to get us some secrets or classified information,” one of the officials told him, according to the statement of facts.

After twice failing the Foreign Service exam required for State Department employment, Shriver was still paid $30,000 by the Chinese, and in 2007 after applying for a position in the National Clandestine Service, the CIA-led espionage branch, he received $40,000 more.

In late 2009 and early 2010, Shriver continued to seek employment at the CIA, falsely stating on applications and in interviews that he had no contact with foreign intelligence agents. According to the statement, Shriver held 20 meetings with Chinese agents from 2004 to 2007.

Mr. deGraffenreid said Shriver was likely groomed as a long-term agent, like Larry Chin, who joined the agency in the late 1940s and spied until his discovery in 1985.

China also demonstrated its intelligence prowess in the case of Katrina Leung, an FBI informant in Los Angeles who U.S. officials say was a spy for China while having intimate affairs with two senior FBI counterintelligence agents.

Mr. deGraffenreid said China’s military and intelligence services also run front companies in the United States that are involved in stealing and buying embargoed U.S. technology.

Mr. deGraffenreid, who also served as senior director for intelligence at the White House National Security Council staff in the Reagan administration, said Chinese operations against the U.S. will continue to cause damage until the government takes tougher action against Beijing.

“It is simply not enough to say the FBI will take care of this problem,” said Mr. deGraffenreid, who helped arrange the ouster of scores of KGB officers in the 1980s. “It wasn’t until a decision was made by the U.S. government to stop the theft of secrets and technology that we really made any headway against the KGB.”

The official who defended the CIA said the agency screens applicants carefully for ties to foreign intelligence agencies.

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