Last week, a Chinese Intelligence officer was extradited to the US to face economic espionage charges. Mr Yanjun Xu was arrested in Belgium last spring, after he travelled to Belgium from China.
On 10th October 2018, Mr Xu appeared before the Federal Court in Cincinnati to face charges of conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and stealing trade secrets from American aviation and aerospace companies.
This extradition marks the first time that the US government has successfully secured the extradition of a Chinese intelligence officer. The US authorities allege that the Chinese government orchestrated cyber-attacks and used spying technology to steal trade secrets from American companies. Assistant Attorney General for the US Justice Department’s National Security Division, Mr John Demers, stated that Mr Xu’s alleged activities were “part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense.” The Chinese government rejected the accusations by the US Justice Department, dismissing the allegations as being “made out of thin air.” Many commentators predict that China may retaliate by expelling US diplomats or intelligence officers from the country.