FBI, others announce arrest of Chinese operative in Tri-State national security case

Suspected Chinese spy met with GE employee

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Law enforcement agencies gathered in downtown Cincinnati Wednesday to announce an arrest involving national security.

United States Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman said that a Chinese intelligence officer is charged with economic espionage involving theft or trade secrets from leading U.S. aviation companies.

Glassman says law enforcement agencies arrested Chinese Ministry of State Security operative, Yanjun Xu, who also went by the aliases Qu Hui and Zhang Hui.

Xu was charged with conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and steal trade secrets from multiple U.S aviation and aerospace companies, including GE Aviation.

“As part of the recruitment process Xu and other MSS officers suggested that aviation experts travel to China for an exchange of ideas or give presentations at Chinese universities and offered to pay for their travel. In reality, these presentations were for the benefit of the Chinese government," Glassman said.

GE Aviation worked closely with FBI, which acquired Xu’s communications with employee and MSS officers. Xu sought specific technical information and material to be used in China, Glassman said during the news conference.

The indictment alleges he had been conspiring to steal trade secrets for at least five years.

Xu was extradited to the United States Tuesday.

Glassman says the Xu trial will be held in Cincinnati

“This is not an isolated incident. It is part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “We cannot tolerate a nation’s stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower. We will not tolerate a nation that reaps what it does not sow.”

Glassman says Xu is a Deputy Division Director with the MSS’s Jinagsu State Security Department, Sixth Bureau. The agency is responsible for China’s counterintelligence, foreign intelligence, and political security.

Xu was arrested in Belgium on April 1.

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