Chinese convicted of espionage in the US aviation industry

WASHINGTON DC: A US court has found a Chinese intelligence officer guilty of attempting to steal trade secrets from US airlines.

Xu Yanjun was found guilty in US federal courts on five counts of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets.

US officials said Xu was a senior member of the Jiangsu branch of China’s State Security Ministry.

Xu could be sentenced to 60 years in prison and fined over $ 5 million.

Xu was arrested in Belgium in 2018 and extradited to the United States

Beijing said earlier that the charges against Xu were baseless.

Court documents indicated that Xu was arrested after being accused of seeking information from airline employees in the United States since 2013.

Evidence submitted to the court claimed that Xu arranged for a GE Aviation employee to travel to China in 2017 to make a presentation at a university. Xu paid the travel expenses and an allowance.

The following year, Xu started asking the GE employee for information on “system specifications, design process”.

However, the company was working with the FBI, which sent falsified information to Xu.

Recently, the CIA said that China remains the biggest technological threat to the United States.

Xu was to continue communicating with the GE employee and then sought to meet with him in Belgium.

“For those who doubt the real objectives of [China], this should be a wake-up call, ”FBI Deputy Director Alan Kohler said. “They are stealing American technology for the benefit of their economy and their army,” quoted by the BBC.

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