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U.S. Arrests Chinese Intelligence Officer for Economic Spying

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MSS officer extradited from Belgium tried to steal U.S. aviation technology

Bill Gertz Follow
October 10, 2018

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced the arrest of a Chinese intelligence officer who was charged with economic espionage against U.S. aviation companies.

The officer was identified as Yanjun Xu, a Ministry of State Security intelligence officer who was extradited to the United States from Belgium on Tuesday. He was charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy and attempting to steal secrets from American aviation and aerospace companies.

Xu's arrest is a rare prosecution of an MSS officer and highlights the Trump administration's efforts to crack down on Chinese spying and technology theft.

"This case is not an isolated incident. It is part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense," said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers in announcing the indictment. "We cannot tolerate a nation's stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower. We will not tolerate a nation that reaps what it does not sow."

FBI Counterintelligence Assistant Director Bill Priestap said the arrest and extradition are unprecedented and "exposes the Chinese government's direct oversight of economic espionage against the United States."


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