Ji Chaoqun: Chinese engineer imprisoned in the United States for spying

In a case linked to Chinese efforts to steal aviation trade secrets, a Chinese engineer was sentenced to eight years in prison for spying in the United States.

According to the US Department of Justice, Ji Chaoqun, 31, had identified scientists and engineers for possible recruitment.

He also lied to recruiters when he enlisted in the US Army Reserves.

According to US officials, Ji worked for a key Chinese state intelligence unit.

He was convicted last September of acting as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the US attorney-general, a charge used in espionage cases, and of making false statements to the US Army.

How China steals America’s technological secrets through industrial espionage
Ji arrived in the United States on a student visa a decade ago, according to a Justice Department statement.

He was charged with providing information to the Jiangsu Province Ministry of State Security (JSSD) about eight potential recruits.

The individuals are all naturalized US citizens who were born in China or Taiwan, and some of them work as US defense contractors.

Ji also joined the US Army Reserves in 2016, as part of a program that recruits foreign nationals with skills deemed critical to national security. According to US officials, he lied in his application and in an interview about having had no contact with a foreign government in the previous seven years.

Ji was apprehended in September 2018 after meeting with an undercover US law enforcement agent posing as a representative of China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS).

During those meetings, Ji explained that he could visit and photograph aircraft carriers using his military identification. He went on to say that once he obtained his US citizenship and security clearance, he planned to work for the CIA, FBI, or NASA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *