U.S. says it has detained alleged Chinese spy for trying to steal trade secrets from GE Aviation and others
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October 10, 2018 - by Aruna Viswanatha
Yanjun Xu, arrested in Belgium and extradited this week, is an official of China's Ministry of State Security, Justice Department says
An alleged Chinese intelligence operative arrested in Belgium has been brought to the U.S. and charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from GE Aviation and other companies, marking a rare break for the U.S. in its increasingly aggressive effort to target Chinese industrial spying.
Prosecutors have previously charged Chinese government officials with economic espionage and hacking-related offenses pointing to state-directed efforts to steal U.S. technology, but have never publicly identified anyone in custody as a Chinese intelligence officer. The arrested man, Yanjun Xu, made an initial appearance in federal court in Ohio on Wednesday.
"This case is not an isolated incident. It is part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense," John Demers, the head of the Justice Department's national-security division, said in announcing the charges.
Prosecutors have also brought a number of cases accusing Chinese nationals of stealing proprietary information on sophisticated technology to benefit Chinese competitors. Officials say the theft of trade secrets costs the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and that China and Chinese companies are the leading offenders.
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