US charges 2 alleged Chinese spies over Huawei prosecution interference

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Two suspected Chinese intelligence officers have been charged with attempting to obstruct a U.S. criminal investigation of Chinese tech giant Huawei by offering bribes to someone they thought could provide inside information. https://apnews.com/article/government-and-politics-criminal-investigations-363641d3d0e79a440214c688580ba416 #China

“The defendants are accused of paying tens of thousands of dollars in digital currency, along with cash and jewelry, to a U.S. official they thought they had recruited as an asset. But the person was actually a double agent working for the FBI, the department said.”

“That prosecution, as well as two other cases involving Chinese operatives, was highlighted Monday at a news conference that featured the heads of both the FBI and the Justice Department, a rare joint presence reflecting a concerted American show of force against Chinese intelligence efforts.”

“Besides the two men on Monday, 11 other Chinese men have been charged with offenses in the last week, including harassment of individuals in the U.S., …

… that FBI Director Christopher Wray said show that China’s “economic assaults and their rights violations are part of the same problem.”

“They try to silence anyone who fights back against their theft — companies, politicians, individuals — just as they try to silence anyone who fights back against their other aggressions,” he said.

In the Huawei case, Guochun He and Zheng Wang, are accused of trying to direct a U.S. official to supply confidential information about the Justice Department’s investigation, including about witnesses, trial evidence and potential new charges.

The latest announcements came just days after Xi Jinping awarded himself a third term as leader of China’s Communist Party, though Wray dismissed the idea of a possible connection in the timing, noting “we bring cases when they’re ready.”

“If the Chinese government, the Chinese Communist Party, continues to violate our laws, they’re going to keep encountering the FBI,” he said.

The Justice Department separately announced charges against four other Chinese nationals, accusing them of using the cover of an academic institute to try to procure sensitive technology and equipment …

… as well as interfering with protests that “would have been embarrassing to the Chinese government.”

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