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Chinese spy charged with trying to steal United States aviation trade secrets

Chinese spy charged with trying to steal United States aviation trade secrets”

A Chinese national is being held in custody by United States authorities after he was extradited from Belgium on Tuesday, adding to escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The announcement came as tensions escalate between Washington and Beijing over geopolitics, trade, hacking and corporate espionage. The employee's talk included details about engines that were designed and produced by his company.

A Chinese national who allegedly conspired to steal trade secrets from an OH aviation company has been extradited to the USA, according to the Justice Department.

It described another unnamed firm as "one of the world's largest aerospace firms, and a leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems", and a third as a leader in unmanned aerial vehicle technology.

"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", said John Demers, the assistant USA attorney general for national security.

He made contact with experts and recruited them to travel to China, often for the initial objective of delivering a university presentation and paying their costs and a stipend, the Justice Department said.

The operation began in December 2013 and continued until Xu's arrest.

A report by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, a DNI component, made public last summer said China is engaged in aggressive cyber operations to steal valuable US technology and economic secrets. "But we can not tolerate a nation stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower".

Federal authorities said it's the first time that a Chinese Ministry of State Security intelligence officer has been extradited to the United States for trial.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang called the accusations a "pure fabrication".

But Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the United States was "making something out of thin air", adding: "We hope the USA side can deal with this in accordance with law".

Lawyers for Xu didn't immediately respond to email messages seeking comment.

Xu faces a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment for the economic espionage charges, in addition to 10 years for the charges of theft of trade secrets.

The Ministry of State Security is China's intelligence and security agency and is responsible for counterintelligence, foreign intelligence and political security.

The extradition comes amid USA suspicion of Chinese intelligence gathering campaigns against the U.S.as well as an escalating trade war between the two countries.

Chris Painter, the former U.S. State Department official who negotiated the agreement, said in a Twitter post it was "not surprising that now the relationship has deteriorated, so has the agreement".

The extradition of Xu was a joint effort of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cincinnati Division, and substantial support was provided by the FBI Legal Attaché's Office in Brussels as well as Belgian law enforcement officials, who "provided significant assistance in securing the arrest and facilitating the surrender of Xu from Belgium", according to the Justice Department.



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