Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Chinese Intelligence Official Charged With Stealing U.S. Aviation Secrets

Chinese Intelligence Official Charged With Stealing U.S. Aviation Secrets

"It is part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense", he claimed. He is accused of using a false identity, recruiting an employee of GE Aviation to lecture and pass along to the Chinese aviation secrets developed by the USA aerospace manufacturer.

We can not tolerate a nation stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower. Xu worked with a conspirator, unnamed in the indictment, who contacted an engineer of the firm a year ago and offered to pay for a trip to China so the employee could talk about his work in connection with an event sponsored by a science and technology association, according to prosecutors.

According to The Washington Post, the man was arrested after being lured to Belgium by U.S. agents and is suspected of having carried out his crimes since around December 2013. "Companies should also see that working together with federal law enforcement authorities, as in this case, those attempted thefts can be thwarted and foreign actors can be brought to trial for their actions - working together, we can stop China's efforts to steal the intellectual property of American companies".

"This indictment alleges that a Chinese intelligence officer sought to steal trade secrets and other sensitive information from an American company that leads the way in aerospace", Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in the release.

Beginning in 2013, Xu allegedly targeted major aerospace companies - including GE Aviation, a division of General Electric Co. - and recruited their employees "to travel to China, often initially under the guise of asking them to deliver a presentation".

The charges come as Washington increases pressure on Beijing over its trade policies and alleged theft of USA intellectual property. "We will not tolerate a nation that reaps what it does not sow".

GE Aviation has supplied engines for large Boeing Co (BA.N) and Airbus SE (AIR.PA) aircraft, and is working on a new generation of engines for commercial planes and heavy-lift military helicopters.

"This unprecedented extradition of a Chinese intelligence officer exposes the Chinese government's direct oversight of economic espionage against the United States", said Bill Priestap, the assistant director of the FBI's counterintelligence division.

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The MSS is a civilian spy agency responsible for counterintelligence, foreign intelligence and domestic political security.

Xu was arrested after traveling to Belgium in April.

He has been transferred to the US for prosecution on economic espionage charges, US Justice Department officials said.

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

GE Aviation cooperated with the FBI early on in the investigation, which dates back more than a year, officials said.

Cybersecurity experts said former U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping had reached an understanding in 2015 on cyber espionage, but the agreement appeared be withering away.

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

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