US charges two Chinese citizens with spying for Huawei | international

A Huawei store, Beijing, China, in August 2021.Ng Han Gwan (AFP)

The US Department of Justice announced, on Monday, the indictment of thirteen Chinese nationals, accused in three separate cases of trying to exercise “undue influence” in the United States for the benefit of their country. Among them are two people, He Dong and Wang Zheng, who tried to bribe an American citizen to obtain information about the case opened in New York against Chinese tech giant Huawei.

Of the remaining two cases, seven Chinese nationals, as denounced by the Department of Justice at a press conference, attempted to forcibly return his fellow refugee in the United States and his family to China. According to data from the administration, the accused, two of whom were arrested, repeatedly harassed and threatened a certain person who had fled from China and was a refugee on American soil, and returned his son so that they would sign a forced confession. They will be handed over to the authorities ahead of the XX Congress of the Communist Party of China, which concluded on Saturday and at which President Xi Jinping was appointed to a third term.

This incident is part of a project carried out by the Chinese authorities – widely denounced by human rights organizations – to arrest fugitives from justice and opponents abroad, under the title “Operation Fox Hunting”.

The third case concerned four people, including three officials from the Ministry of State Security – responsible for Chinese intelligence – who attempted to recruit US citizens to “work” – a euphemism for espionage missions – for China.

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According to data released on Monday, He and Wang paid $41,000 in bitcoin to a US official for stealing documents related to an investigation into a “global telecom company accused in an open court case.” Justice’s website does not reveal the name of the company, but the data coincides with that of Huawei, the tech giant in Shenzhen.

The two Chinese suspects believe they recruited the official to their case as early as 2019. In fact, he was a double agent working for the FBI. In September 2021, He and Wang requested information about meetings that this agent allegedly had with the New York Eastern District Attorney’s Office. In particular, they wanted to know which company employees were questioned by the plaintiffs. They were also interested in what to do with the prosecution’s strategy for the trial, the evidence the prosecution obtained, and the list of witnesses.

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In October 2021, the alleged corruption official sent Wang a page of a “secret” document that allegedly stated his intention to indict and detain two people living in China. He replied that this is “exactly what I was looking for”. A month later, after paying for bitcoins, the agent (identified in court documents as GE-1) told the company that “they haven’t specifically told me anything, but it is very clear that they are very interested” in acquiring more pages. from the alleged document.

The two Chinese citizens were accused of trying to interfere in a lawsuit and money laundering. He faces up to forty years in prison, while Wang can be sentenced to up to twenty years in prison, if found guilty.

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“The Department of Justice will not tolerate attempts by any foreign power to undermine the rule of law upon which our democracy is based,” said US Attorney (equivalent to the attorney general), Merrick Garland.

New York prosecutors filed charges against Huawei in 2018 for lying to various banks about its dealings in Iran, which is subject to US sanctions. As part of the case, the tech giant’s chief financial officer and daughter of the company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada. Meng WanzhouFinally, he returned to China earlier this year.

Other charges were added to the indictment in 2020, including conspiring to steal trade secrets from six US technology companies and helping Iran locate protesters during anti-government protests in 2009. Huawei has always dismissed all charges It is seen as a victim of US attempts to limit competition from Chinese technology companies against its own.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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