Two Chinese Embassy officials were expelled by the U.S. government in September after they drove onto a Virginian military base, according to reports.
U.S. officials believe that at least one of the Embassy officials was an intelligence officer operating under diplomatic cover, The New York Times reported.
The group, which included the officials’ wives, drove through an entry checkpoint on the military base in Norfolk, despite being denied permission, and reportedly evaded military personnel that pursued them.
The Chinese officials breached security at the base and only stopped driving after fire trucks were deployed to block them, according to The New York Times.
When authorities blocked their path and they finally stopped driving, the Chinese officials told the military guards they had gotten lost.
It appears to be the first time in more than 30 years that Chinese diplomats have been expelled over suspected espionage acts.
The U.S. administration in recent years has stepped up efforts to combat concerns about suspected spying by Beijing.
A law enforcement official familiar with the episode confirmed that the account is accurate.
Reuters contributed to this report.