A Chinese spy who federal officials said tried to steal trade secrets from American aviation and aerospace companies has been charged and extradited to the United States.
The extradition of Yanjun Xu, a deputy division director of the Chinese Ministry of State Security, on Tuesday was an “unprecedented” move that “exposes the Chinese government’s direct oversight of economic espionage against the (U.S.),” Bill Priestap, of the FBI’s Counterintelligence division, said Wednesday.
Xu, per a news release from the Justice Department, “sought to steal trade secrets and other sensitive information from an American company that leads the way in aerospace.”
Beginning in 2013, Xu allegedly targeted major aerospace companies — including GE Aviation, a division of General Electric Co. — and recruited their employees “to travel to China, often initially under the guise of asking them to deliver a presentation.”
A spokesperson for GE Aviation told The Associated Press that the company has been cooperating with the FBI for months and that the impact to the company is “minimal thanks to early detection, our advanced digital systems and internal processes, and our partnership with the FBI.”