Chinese spy charged with stealing USA tech secrets

Chinese soldiers attend a flag-raising ceremony in Tiananmen Square in Beijing this month

A Chinese spy who federal officials said tried to steal trade secrets from American aviation and aerospace companies has been charged and extradited to the United States.

Xu, a senior officer with China's Ministry of State Security (MSS), appeared in federal court in Cincinnati on Wednesday, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

We can not tolerate a nation stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower.

The indictment alleges that, beginning around December 2013 and continuing until his arrest, Xu targeted the aviation companies as they were recognised leaders in aviation.

The indictment said Xu recruited a GE Aviation employee, who sent him a presentation in February that contained the company's proprietary information.

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

Xu is a deputy division director with the Jiangsu Province Ministry of State Security [JSSD], a provincial arm of the MSS. The university is run by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The charges come as the United States increases pressure on China over its trade policies and alleged theft of U.S. companies' intellectual property. After his appeals failed, he was extradited to the US on Tuesday and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Campbell is a former assistant director of the FBI's criminal investigative division, overseeing efforts to protect United States trade secrets.

Xu was arrested in Belgium in April and recently extradited to the United States-the first ever such case for a Chinese MSS official, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman.

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

"The impact to GE Aviation is minimal thanks to early detection, our advanced digital systems and internal processes, and our partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation", a GE Aviation spokesman, Perry Bradley, said.

According to the indictment filed in the Southern District of Ohio, Xu sought technology used in the development of fan blades and engine encasements.

"No one begrudges a nation that generates the most innovative ideas and from them develops the best technology", Demers said.

"We can not tolerate a nation stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower". "We will not tolerate a nation that reaps what it does not sow".

The court indictment does not name GE Aviation but the description of "victim company A" makes it all but certain.

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.

He often concealed his identity by presenting himself as being associated with Chinese universities or organizations such as the Jiangsu Science and Technology Promotion Association.

Ji targeted individuals in science and tech industries, seven of whom worked for or recently retired from USA defense contractors. The pair were said to have specifically targeted techies who were naturalized U.S. citizens born in China or Taiwan.

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