The US makes a point of announcing three separate indictments involving Chinese espionage.
US Department of Justice unseals three indictments in PRC spying cases.
The US Department of Justice yesterday afternoon held a press conference to announce the unsealing of three cases against thirteen Chinese nationals, including ten Chinese intelligence officers.
The first case.
Attorney General Merrick Garland outlined the cases. The first involved charges against two Chinese intelligence officers who allegedly bribed a US citizen, an insider, to reveal sensitive and non-public information about the US prosecution of a Chinese telecommunications company. Quartz reports that the two Chinese intelligence officers, Guochun He and Zheng Wang, were fed false information by this US government employee, provided by the FBI. The Justice Department declined to name the Chinese company involved in the prosecution, but the Wall Street Journal reports that sources confirm that the company involved is Huawei. The two men face charges of obstruction of an official proceeding and money laundering, atop earlier bank fraud and racketeering charges against Huawei.
The second case.
The second case involved the activities of a front Chinese academic organization, “a fake think tank,” that had allegedly been engaged in both theft of US intellectual property and in the suppression of Constitutionally protected free speech regarded as embarrassing to China. Four individuals were charged in that case.
The third case.
Finally, the third case, in which seven individuals were indicted, involved China’s Operation Fox Hunt, a long-running program of forcibly repatriating Chinese who have emigrated to other countries, and who are regarded as a threat to the reputation or security of the People’s Republic. Chinese agents are alleged to have hounded victims and their families with physical intimidation, frivolous lawsuits, threats, and other harassment, with Foreign Policy reporting that the seven promised to make the victim’s life an “endless misery,” saying that these would not stop until the victims returned to China.
“As these cases demonstrate, the government of China sought to interfere with the rights and freedoms of individuals in the United States and to undermine our judicial system that protects those rights. They did not succeed. The Justice Department will not tolerate attempts by any foreign power to undermine the Rule of Law upon which our democracy is based. We will continue to fiercely protect the rights guaranteed to everyone in our country. And we will defend the integrity of our institutions,” said Garland in a Department of Justice press release.
The cases were all prompted, Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco said, by China’s unrestrained pursuit of world power, especially world economic power, unconstrained by international norms or respect for other nations’ sovereignty.
And FBI Director Wray said that anyone approached by Chinese intelligence services could count on the full support of the Bureau.