US Court Sentences Chinese Intelligence Agent for Spying | Political news

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Xu Yanjun was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy and attempting to commit economic espionage and three counts related to the theft of trade secrets.

A Chinese intelligence officer was convicted by the US federal court of economic espionage in an alleged, state-backed attempt to steal technology from US and French aerospace companies, the Justice Department said.

Xu Yanjun, an official from the Jiangsu Province Foreign Intelligence Office of the Ministry of State Security, was found guilty on Friday by the Cincinnati court on two counts of conspiracy and attempting to commit economic espionage and three counts related to the theft of trade secrets.

The economic espionage charges carry a maximum of 15 years in prison each and a fine of up to $ 5 million, while the other charges carry up to 10 years in prison each.

Xu was one of 11 Chinese citizens, including two intelligence officers, named in October 2018 indictments for involvement in a five-year scheme to steal technology from Cincinnati-based GE Aviation, one of the world’s leading aero-engine manufacturers, and from the French Safran group, which was working with GE on engine development.

“Xu attempted to steal GE Aviation’s proprietary composite aircraft engine fan technology, which no other company in the world has been able to duplicate, for the benefit of the Chinese state,” the Justice Department said. a note.

Xu, using various aliases, “identified experts working for the companies and recruited them to travel to China,” the statement added.

He was arrested in April 2018 in Belgium, where he was apparently lured into a counterintelligence operation – he planned to secretly meet a GE employee during the trip.

He was extradited to the United States in October 2018 for trial.

The 2018 indictments named 10 more accomplices in the operation, including two Jiangsu security officials – who appear to have worked under Xu – six hackers and two employees of the French company.

None of the 10 were arrested.

The allegations explained details about efforts to use malware and phishing techniques to hack specific computers and remove engine and part data.

The Justice Department said at the time that a Chinese state-owned aerospace company had tried to develop an engine like GE’s for use in Chinese-made aircraft.

After Xu’s arrest, China claimed the US was “making something out of nothing”.

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