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Chinese official extradited to US to face espionage charges

Press Trust of India  |  Washington/Beijing 

For the first time, a has been extradited to the US to face charges for conspiring and attempting to steal from multiple American aviation and companies, the has said.

Yanjun Xu, aka Qu Hui, aka Zhang Hui, a Chinese Ministry of State (MSS) operative, was extradited to the US on Tuesday, following which the charges were unsealed on Wednesday.

Arrested in on April 1, Xu was indicted on four counts of conspiring and attempting to commit and theft of He was extradited to the US on Tuesday after losing his appeal.

"This unprecedented extradition of a exposes the Chinese government's direct oversight of economic against the United States," said Bill Priestap, of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, in a statement.

The arrest of the Chinese is the latest in relation to the theft of technology.

Xu is a with the MSS's Jiangsu State Department, The MSS is the intelligence and agency for and is responsible for counter-intelligence, foreign intelligence and political security.

The MSS has broad powers in to conduct espionage both domestically and abroad.

According to the indictment, beginning December 2013 and till his arrest, Xu targeted certain companies recognised as leaders in the aviation field both in and outside the This included

He identified experts who worked for these companies and recruited them to travel to China, often initially under the guise of asking them to deliver a university presentation.

Xu and others paid the experts' and provided stipends.

He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years, the justice department said.

On Thursday in Beijing, the China's foreign ministry said that it hopes the US can deal with the matter in accordance with the law. It accused the US of "making something out of thin air".

"We hope the US side can deal with this in accordance with law," Chinese said.

Xu made his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Cincinnati, Ben Glassman, the US for the Southern District of Ohio, told reporters.

Glassman said that innovation in aviation has been a hallmark of life and industry in the since the Wright brothers first designed gliders in Dayton more than a century ago.

"US companies invest decades of time and billions of dollars in research.

This is the American way. In contrast, according to the indictment, a tried to acquire that same, hard-earned innovation through theft," he alleged.

"This case shows that can not only detect and disrupt such espionage, but can also catch its perpetrators," Glassman added.

Assistant General said: "This indictment alleges that a Chinese intelligence sought to steal and other sensitive information from an that leads the way in "

"This case is not an isolated incident. It is part of an overall economic policy of developing at America's expense. We cannot tolerate a nation stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower. We will not tolerate a nation that reaps what it does not sow," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, October 11 2018. 16:15 IST