Senior Chinese official charged with stealing USA trade secrets

Sergio Conner
October 11, 2018

A spy for the Chinese ministry of state security has been arrested and indicted on charges of economic espionage and attempting to steal trade secrets from several USA aviation and aerospace companies, according to the justice department. He is accused of using a false identity, recruiting an employee of GE Aviation to lecture and pass along to the Chinese aviation secrets developed by the USA aerospace manufacturer.

The charges come amid heightened tensions between the two countries, and last week US Vice President Mike Pence accused China of attempts to undermine President Donald Trump ahead of the midterms next month. Xu and others paid the experts' travel costs and provided stipends.

After his appeals failed, he was extradited to the US on Tuesday and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Cincinnati, Ohio. "In contrast, according to the indictment, a Chinese intelligence officer tried to acquire that same, hard-earned innovation through theft". "We will not tolerate a nation that reaps what it does not sow." said Assistant Attorney General John Demers in the press release.

U.S. prosecutors have unsealed charges against a collared Chinese national, accusing him of stealing trade secrets from American aerospace companies.

The alleged Chinese intelligence officer, Yanjun Xu, was extradited to the United States on Tuesday from Belgium, where he was arrested in April at Washington's request.

"This case is not an isolated incident". Some of those defendants were charged with trying to steal everything from wind turbine technology to engineered rice and corn, which provides a sense of the breadth of what US officials say Beijing is looking to acquire.

Xu could face a maximum sentence of 15 years for conspiracy and attempt to commit economic espionage, and an additional maximum sentence of 10 years for conspiracy and attempt to commit theft of trade secrets.

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Xu "targeted certain companies inside and outside the United States that are recognized as leaders in the aviation field" to include GE Aviation, which specializes in aircraft engines, according to the indictment.

A man the U.S. claims is a Chinese intelligence officer stood before a court on Wednesday, after being flown to the USA from Belgium in an "unprecedented" extradition. This is the American way.

"This case shows that federal law enforcement agencies cannot only detect and disrupt espionage, but can also catch its perpetrators", said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Benjamin C. Glassman. "The defendant will now face trial in federal court in Cincinnati". "It is part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense".

The report said the Chinese, along with Russian and other foreign spies, are targeting key technologies related to energy, biotechnology, defense, environmental protection, high-end manufacturing, information, and communications.

The U.S. administration has pointed to this plan as evidence that Beijing has systematically stolen intellectual property from U.S. companies to advantage itself-and the reason why the United States is enacting punitive tariffs on Chinese imports.

Alperovitch now fears that this arrest might trigger a retaliatory action from Chinese hackers, an opinion also shared by former Facebook Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos, and others.

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