A secret passage used to smuggle intelligence out of Communist China and into the Soviet Union has been discovered in the northern Heilongjiang province, a news report said Monday.
The tunnel, located in the Dongning district, was found by researchers who have spent years trying to locate its whereabouts, Interfax quoted China's Xinhua news agency as saying.
It was built in the 1930s and was used during World War II to allow Chinese intelligence officials to exchange intelligence with Communist allies the Soviet Union, Interfax reported, citing Xinhua. Both countries were then at war with the Empire of Japan.
The Moscow Times was unable to verify the original Chinese report as Xinhua's English-language agency had not published the story by the time this article went to print.
Rumors of the existence of the secret passage surfaced several years ago when an employee of the Dongning fortress museum named Van Tszunzhen went on a visit to North Korea, Interfax reported, citing the Xinhua report.
A local expert told Tszunzhen during the trip that he had helped construct the tunnel. Further research confirmed the existence of the passage, after which the Chinese side started trying to find it, Interfax cited the Xinhua report as saying.
The passage is located 55 kilometers from the Russian city of Ussuriysk in the Primorye region, and 153 kilometers from the far eastern city of Vladivostok, Interfax reported.