Published: Thu, October 11, 2018

Chinese spy charged with trying to steal U.S. aviation trade secrets

Chinese spy charged with trying to steal U.S. aviation trade secrets

Xu was arrested after traveling to Belgium in April. "But we can not tolerate a nation stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower".

Last week, Vice President Pence accused the Chinese of trying to orchestrate "the wholesale theft of American technology".

The department also credited cooperation by GE Aviation in helping to bring Xu into U.S. custody.

Xu remained in contact with the employee, and in February requested that the employee send specific proprietary information as well as a list of technical topics regarding composite materials in engine fan blades developed by GE Aviation, according to court papers.

Xu's case was announced just hours after FBI Director Christopher Wray said China was a greater security threat to the USA than Russian Federation, the latest warning about Beijing from government officials including Vice President Mike Pence, who said last week that China seeks to undermine American interests geopolitically, economically and militarily. Yesterday he was extradited to the US.

A man the USA claims is a Chinese intelligence officer stood before a court on Wednesday, after being flown to the United States from Belgium in an "unprecedented" extradition.

Xu is making his first appearance in federal court in Cincinnati Wednesday.

A report by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, a DNI component, made public last summer said China is engaged in aggressive cyber operations to steal valuable US technology and economic secrets.

The DOJ said Xu is a top member of the Ministry of State Security - the Chinese intelligence agency whose members have permission to spy in China and around the world.

Justice Department officials said the indictment is but the latest example of China seeking to develop its economy at the expense of American firms and know-how.

The two nations agreed to cease all hacking operations aimed at intellectual property (IP) theft in the autumn of 2015, when the countries' two presidents, US President Obama and Chinese President Xi, signed a political agreement on the matter.

A US Department of Justice statement said Xu, a deputy division director for the State Security Department of China's Jiangsu province, targeted several US aerospace companies, including GE Aviation, a subsidiary of General Electric Co.

So what makes the Xu case special is that it appears to mark the first time that an alleged Chinese intelligence officer has been brought to the face charges.

"He identified experts who worked for these companies and recruited them to travel to China, often initially under the guise of asking them to deliver a university presentation".

Glassman said he had no plans to charge the GE Aviation employee, who no longer works at the company.

The indictment does not say if the employee was aware Mr. Xu was a spy or if they ever met in Europe.

Last month, the U.S. justice department confirmed the arrest of a Chinese citizen in Chicago on charges he was an undercover agent for a high-ranking Chinese intelligence official who was trying to recruit engineers and scientists.

Top figures in the infosec industry fear that the recent arrest of a top Chinese intelligence officer will spark an increase in cyber-attacks from Chinese hacking groups in the coming months. All were naturalised United States citizens born either in mainland China or the self-governed island of Taiwan.

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