Two members of the US Navy are suspected of passing sensitive intelligence information to the Chinese regimeas announced this Thursday by the US Department of Justice.
the men were arrested and charged with sending photos, videos and documents with critical data about the US Navy’s organization of Chinese spies, the statement said.
“The People’s Republic of China has compromised the rank and file to obtain sensitive military information that could seriously endanger the national security of the United States,” the deputy director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division said. Suzanne Turnerin a statement sent this Thursday.
He added, “These arrests are a reminder of China’s relentless and aggressive efforts to undermine our democracy and threaten those who defend it.”
First suspect jinchao weiwas arrested on Wednesday at Naval Station San Diego, where he worked.
Jinchao was an engineer on the landing ship USS Essex. suspected of collaborating with a Chinese agent since February 2022 to transmit information about the operation, protection and armament of this landing craft.
In return, he would receive several thousand dollars.
The second defendant Wenheng Zhaoworked at the Ventura County Naval Base, north of Los Angeles.
This is a 26 year old soldier. is suspected of exchanging confidential information with a Chinese spy who posed as a researcher in the maritime sector between August 2021 and May 2023.
The spy reportedly sent him about $15,000 for details of large-scale naval exercises in the Asia-Pacific region, and data and plans for a radar system in Japan on the island of Okinawa.
Bilateral relations between the US and China have been particularly tense in recent years due to national security concerns and accusations of espionage and cyberattacks on both sides, leading to high tariffs and trade bans in areas such as technology.
“They are being accused of violating their commitment to protect the United States and betraying public trust in the interests of the Chinese government,” said the Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Homeland Security Division. Matthew J. Olsen, at a subsequent press conference. He added: “The Department of Justice will continue to use every tool in our arsenal to counter threats from China and deter those who help them break our laws and endanger our national security.”.
According to AFP and EFE