Chinese spy gets 20 years in US prison — Radio Free Asia

A Chinese intelligence official convicted of industrial espionage for theft of trade secrets in the aviation industry was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison by an Ohio court on Wednesday.

Xu Yanjun, 42, was an official in China’s Ministry of State Security and became the first Chinese spy to be extradited in the United States after his arrest in Belgium in 2018.

A jury Last year found Xu guilty of attempting to steal designs for an Ohio-based GE Aviation engine fan. Justice Department officials said it was part of an organized effort by Beijing to “modernize” its own economy by stealing American technology.

In addition to seeking to steal trade secrets and recruit employees from the US aviation industry, Xu also “recruited employees to go to China and solicited their proprietary information, all on behalf of the People’s Republic government. of China”, according to A declaration released Wednesday by the Department of Justice.

“This case is just the latest example of the Chinese government’s continued attacks on American economic security — and, by extension, our national security,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said, adding that Xu was part of a plan. wider.

“The Chinese government has assigned an officer in its spy service to steal US trade secrets so that it can advance its own commercial and military aviation efforts at the expense of an American company. This brazen action shows that the Chinese government will stop at nothing to bankrupt our companies. »

Xu had worked as a spy since 2003, the statement noted, and had targeted the aviation sector since December 2013.

Xu’s sentencing comes amid an ongoing US campaign to target industrial espionage by Beijing, with two spies arrested last month after seeking information to help defend Chinese telecom giant Huawei in a similar trade secret case.

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