Chinese 'spy' charged with stealing U.S. secrets after arrest in Belgium

Chinese 'spy' charged with stealing U.S. secrets after arrest in Belgium

Chinese 'spy' charged with stealing U.S. secrets after arrest in Belgium

We can not tolerate a nation stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower.

He has been transferred to the US for prosecution on economic espionage charges, US Justice Department officials said.

"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.

Prosecutors say Mr Xu is a senior officer with China's ministry of state security - which is responsible for counter-intelligence, foreign intelligence and political security.

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The indictment alleges that, from around December 2013 until his arrest in April, Xu would recruit employees from major aerospace companies and convince them to travel to China on the pretext of giving a presentation at a university, prosecutors said.

"No one begrudges a nation that generates the most innovative ideas and from them develops the best technology", Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said.

Federal authorities said it's the first time that a Chinese Ministry of State Security intelligence officer has been extradited to the United States for trial.

The indictment was unsealed on Wednesday following the suspect's extradition.

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He made contact with experts and recruited them to travel to China, often for the initial goal of delivering a university presentation and paying their costs and a stipend, the Justice Department said. "We will not tolerate a nation that reaps what it does not sow". GE Aviation has spent decades developing its unique jet engines and fan blades. He was then arrested by Belgian authorities, acting at the behest of the USA, in April.

Using the alias Qu Hui, deputy secretary general of Jiangsu Science and Technology Association, Xu was making arrangements in January 2018 to obtain "signature material design and manufacturing technology", focusing on "highly-technical topics, including the latest developments in the application ... of signature material used in aeroengines, as well as engine structure design analysis technology and manufacturing technology development", the court document said. He said GE Aviation partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation but would not indicate which organization alerted the other of suspected espionage.

In February, Xu began discussing with the engineer the possibility of meeting in Europe during one of the engineer's business trips, the indictment said.

According to The Washington Post, the case is linked to last month's arrest of 27-year-old Ji Chaoqun, a Chinese citizen living in Chicago, who was arrested for allegedly passing information to what the DOJ called a "high-level intelligence officer" with the MSS. 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. All were naturalised U.S. citizens born either in mainland China or the self-governed island of Taiwan.

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