sailors accused of spying for China

26 sailors accused of spying for China

Two US Navy sailors in California have been indicted for allegedly sharing delicate navy secrets and techniques, together with data on weapon techniques and ship positions, with Chinese language intelligence brokers. The arrests come weeks after the CIA admitted to rebuilding its personal spy community in China.

Federal prosecutors introduced the 2 circumstances, which have been filed individually, on Thursday. Chinese language-born Jinchao “Patrick” Wei, who’s a naturalized US citizen, was arrested on Wednesday as he arrived for work in his job as a machinist’s mate at Naval Base San Diego. The opposite suspect, petty officer Wenheng “Thomas” Zhao, labored at Naval Base Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, previous to his arrest.

Prosecutors didn’t say whether or not the 2 circumstances have been associated or whether or not they concerned the identical suspected Chinese language “intelligence officer.”

Wei, 22, was charged with conspiracy to ship nationwide protection data to an agent of the Folks’s Republic of China. He allegedly despatched images and movies of the USS Essex, described varied weapons techniques and disclosed the areas of varied Navy ships. He’s additionally accused of offering the Chinese language agent with dozens of technical and mechanical manuals, in addition to photographs of navy tools associated to an upcoming worldwide navy train. 

Zhao, 26, was charged with receiving bribes for transmitting US navy secrets and techniques. He allegedly turned over delicate data, together with photographs {of electrical} diagrams and blueprints for a radar system at a US base in Japan, to a Chinese language agent who was posing as a maritime researcher. He additionally despatched the agent secrets and techniques on Naval pressure actions and areas in an upcoming train within the Indo-Pacific area, prosecutors mentioned. He faces a most penalty of 20 years in jail, if convicted.

The arrests come amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing. Final month, CIA Director William Burns informed a safety convention in Colorado that his company was at the moment operating brokers in China.

“We’ve made progress and we’re working very laborious to ensure now we have a really sturdy human intelligence functionality to enhance what we will purchase via different strategies,” Burns informed attendees.

In response, Beijijng vowed to “take all needed measures to safeguard nationwide safety” in opposition to American spy networks. International Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning additionally accused Washington of “spreading disinformation on so-called ‘Chinese language spying and cyber assaults’” with a view to cowl up for their very own spying actions.

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