January 30, 2023

Chinese engineer sentenced to 8 years in US prison for spying

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A former graduate student in Chicago was convicted. Eight years in prison Wednesday for spying for the Chinese government by gathering information about engineers and scientists in the United States.

Ji Chaokun, a Chinese national who came to the United States in 2013 to study electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology and later enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves, was arrested in 2018.

He was 31 years old. Convicted last September for acting illegally as an agent of China’s Ministry of Foreign Security (MSS) and making a material false statement to the US military.

According to the Justice Department, Ji was tasked with providing an intelligence officer with biographical information on individuals for possible recruitment as Chinese spies. Among these individuals were Chinese nationals working as engineers and scientists in the United States, some of whom worked for American defense contractors.

The Justice Department said in a statement that Ji’s spying was part of an effort by Chinese intelligence to gain access to advanced aerospace and satellite technologies developed by American companies.

In 2016, a year after graduation, Ji enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves under a program that allows foreign nationals to be recruited if their skills are deemed “critical to the national interest.”

In his application to join the program, Gee falsely stated that he had had no contact with any foreign government in the past seven years. He also failed to disclose his ties and contacts with Chinese intelligence officers in an interview with a US military officer, according to the Justice Department.

In 2018, Ji had several meetings with an undercover US law enforcement agent posing as a representative of China’s MSS. During these meetings, Ji said that with his military ID, he could visit and photograph the “Roosevelt-class” aircraft carriers. Gee also explained that once he received his U.S. citizenship and security clearance through the Army Reserve Program, he would seek a job with the CIA, FBI or NASA, the Justice Department cited as evidence during the trial. He said while giving.

The Justice Department said in the statement that Gee intended to perform cybersecurity work at one of those agencies so that he would have access to databases, including those for scientific research.

The statement said that GMMS’s Jiangsu was working under the direction of Su Yanjin, deputy division director at the provincial branch.

Sue, was a career intelligence officer Sentenced He was sentenced last year to 20 years in prison for conspiring to steal trade secrets from several American aviation and aerospace companies. Su was also the first Chinese spy to be extradited to the US for trial after being detained in Belgium in 2018 following an FBI investigation.

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