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Chinese Officer Is Extradited to U.S. to Face Charges of Economic Espionage

Oct 11 , 2018

WASHINGTON — A Chinese intelligence official was arrested in Belgium and extradited to the United States to face espionage charges, Justice Department officials said on Wednesday, a major escalation of the Trump administration’s effort to crack down on Chinese spying.

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. Law enforcement officials said that Mr. Xu tried to steal trade secrets from companies including GE Aviation outside Cincinnati, in Evendale, Ohio, one of the world’s top jet engine suppliers for commercial and military aircraft.

A 16-page indictment details what appears to be a dramatic international sting operation to lure Mr. Xu to what he believed was a meeting in Belgium to obtain proprietary information about jet fan blade designs from a GE Aviation employee, only to be met by Belgian authorities and put on a plane to the United States.

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