05:29 GMT29 January 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States has expelled two Chinese diplomats for allegedly driving unannounced into a sensitive military base near Norfolk in the US state of Virginia, The New York Times reported Sunday.

    The car with the two embassy workers and their wives evaded military personnel and only stopped when fire trucks blocked their way, the paper said, citing numerous sources in the know.

    The two were expelled without drawing any attention to what the US sees as an act of espionage. The expulsion is the first ouster of Chinese nationals under diplomatic protection since 1987.

    The military installation is believed to host special operations forces, including elite navy seals, according to people familiar with the incident, which happened in September.

    The paper cited sources briefed on the trespass who theorized that it was a test of the base’s security and could be followed up by a team of more senior intelligence officers trying to enter the facility.

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the embassy did not reply to the paper’s queries. It cited two people with links to the embassy who said the expelled diplomats were on a sightseeing tour when they got lost.

    Tags:
    expelling, military base, diplomat, China, U.S
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