Beijing, May 22 (IANS) A Chinese state-run newspaper on Monday denied that Beijing killed at least a dozen CIA informers between 2010 and 2012 as reported by US daily The New York Times last week.Also Read - Amid Afghanistan Crisis, China, Taliban Hold First Diplomatic Talks In War-Torn Kabul

The Global Times stressed that although that newspaper’s information was reported by both American and Chinese media, its authenticity remains unproven. Also Read - Afghanistan Crisis: Why Did Ashraf Ghani Leave The Country?

The New York Times, which cited US officials in its publication on Saturday, revealed that between 18 and 20 agents were murdered or imprisoned between 2010 and 2012 to end a CIA espionage network which had taken years to build. Also Read - China Sounds COVID-19 Alarm as Delta Variant Spreads to 18 Provinces With Fresh Cases in Beijing

The US daily added that one of the spies was shot in front of his colleagues at a government department.

The Chinese daily said in its editorial: “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.”

Besides accusing the US media of bragging about capturing Chinese spies, the Chinese media reported that Bejing’s counter-espionage activities are “just and legal”, while the CIA’s spying is “illegitimate”.

“If this article is telling the truth, we would like to applaud China’s counter-espionage activities,” said the Global Times.

“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,” it said.

The editorial extolled the work of the Beijing secret services as a total victory and questioned the fact that this news comes at a time when bilateral relations between Beijing and Washington are relatively smooth.

“Many American political elites are willing to see more friction between China and the US. Now with the latest report, they have found a new angle to stir up distrust between the US and China over espionage,” it said.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.