Chinese intelligence officer charged with espionage crimes against GE Aviation


CINCINNATI, Ohio (WDTN) – A Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) operative has been charged with economic espionage crimes involving multiple U.S. aviation and aerospace companies, including GE Aviation.

Yanjun Xu, also known as Qu Hui and Zhang Hui, was arrested and charged with conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and steal trade secrets.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Benjamin Glassman, Assistant Director Bill Priestap of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, and Special Agent in Charge Angela Byers of the FBI’s Cincinnati Division announced the charges Wednesday.

“Innovation and aviation has been a hallmark of life and industry in the United States since the Wright brothers first designed gliders in Dayton more than a century ago,” said U.S. Attorney Glassman. “U.S. aerospace companies invest decades of time and billions of dollars in research. This is the American way. In contrast, according to the indictment, a Chinese intelligence officer tried to acquire that same, hard-earned innovation through theft. This case shows that federal law enforcement authorities cannot only detect and disrupt such espionage but can also catch its perpetrators. The defendant will now face trial in federal court in Cincinnati.”

Yanjun Xu is a Deputy Director with the MSS’s Jiangsu State Security Department, Sixth Bureau. The MSS is the intelligence and security agency for China and is responsible for counter-intelligence, foreign intelligence, and political security.

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