Yanjun Xu, a Chinese intelligence officer earlier arrested in Belgium, was on Tuesday extradited to the United States to face espionage charges. This was said by the US Justice Department in a statement on Wednesday.
The Department of Justice said, “The extradition on Tuesday of the officer, Yanjun Xu, a deputy division director in China’s main spy agency, the Ministry of State Security, is the first time that a Chinese intelligence official has been brought to the United States to be prosecuted and tried in open court.”
Giving a brief detail of the case, the Department of Justice said, “Xu was one of several Ministry of State Security officials who, starting in 2013, allegedly identified aviation industry experts of at least three companies, including Cincinnati-based GE Aviation, and invited them to China under the guise of speaking at universities for an idea exchange.”
“However, these presentations were purely for the benefit of the Chinese government, and often included highly technical discussions about a company’s signature material design and manufacturing technology,” it added.
According to a 16-page indictment details, Yanjun Xu faces four charges of conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and theft of trade secrets.
Notably, Xu was arrested in Belgium in April this year and was extradited to the United States after losing his appeal. He faces up to 25 years’ imprisonment.