China's Global Times, published by the official People's Daily, said in an editorial in its Chinese and English-language editions that, if reports of China "systematically dismantling CIA spying operations, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources" are true, it was a victory for China.
As we previously detailed, an influential state-run newspaper applauded China's anti-espionage efforts on Monday after the New York Times said China had killed or imprisoned up to 20 CIA sources, hobbling U.S. spying operations in a massive intelligence breach.
And now, as Reuters reports, China's Global Times, published by the official People's Daily, said in an editorial:
"If this article is telling the truth, we would like to applaud China's anti-espionage activities. Not only was the CIA's spy network dismantled, but Washington had no idea what happened and which part of the spy network had gone wrong," the paper said.
"It can be taken as a sweeping victory. Perhaps it means even if the CIA makes efforts to rebuild its spy network in China, it could face the same result," it said.
However the widely read paper, which is known for its strongly nationalist stance, said one part of the report was false.
"As for one source being shot in a government courtyard, that is a purely fabricated story, most likely a piece of American-style imagination based on ideology," it said.
The story has attracted thousands of comments on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, with many people expressing glee that the spy ring was broken.
"Strike hard against spy traitors, protect the country's security!" wrote one Weibo user.
"Well done! Good on you China," wrote another.
This is the ally that President Trump holds so close?