The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced this week that a United States Navy sailor was sentenced to over two years in prison for transmitting sensitive intelligence to a Chinese military agent.
The 26-year-old petty officer, Wenheng Zhao, pled guilty in October 2023 to accepting bribes from the Chinese in exchange for non-public U.S. intelligence that he collected while performing his duties, according to the DOJ. Zhao was dishonorably discharged and subsequently sentenced to 27 months in federal prison with $5,500 in fines for his crimes.
The Daily Caller reports on the specifics of Zhao’s actions:
Zhao held special security clearance and used it to collect intelligence regarding the U.S. Navy’s “operational security, military trainings and exercises, and critical infrastructure,” according to the DOJ. Some of the intelligence Zhao collected included plans for Naval exercises in the Pacific region and technical layouts for radar systems in Japan.
Zhao then transmitted back to Beijing using “sophisticated encrypted communication methods” in exchange for bribery payments. He received a total of $14,866 in over a dozen separate payments from Beijing from August 2021 to May 2023, according to the DOJ.
Experts fume that Zhao’s acts of espionage and treason with an American adversary is receiving too light of a punishment. The administration, however, is spinning the arrest in a positive light.
“Make no mistake, the PRC [People’s Republic of China] is engaged in an aggressive effort to undermine the national security of the U.S. and its partners. Zhao chose to betray the oath he took to our country and put others at risk by providing sensitive U.S. information to a PRC intelligence official.” Larissa L. Knapp, FBI National Security branch executive assistant director, said in a statement Monday. “The Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly shown it will freely break any law or norm to achieve a perceived intelligence advantage.”
“Today’s sentencing demonstrates, yet again, the inability of China’s Intelligence Services to prevent the FBI and our vital partners from apprehending and prosecuting the spies China recruits,” Knapp said.
Border Patrol Council President concerned over ‘influx’ of military-aged Chinese men crossing the southern border
According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol data Border Patrol agents detained over 30,000 Chinese individuals for illegally crossing the border from January to November 2023, sparking concern.
Just The News reports that National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd on Wednesday said the United States should be incredibly concerned by the influx of military-aged Chinese men coming across the southern border.
“Why are we seeing this influx?” Judd asked on the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “At best, they’re just coming here for a better life or for a better job. At worse, they’re coming here to be part of the Chinese government, and that’s what scares me an awful lot.”
“We know that the Chinese have huge gangs here in the United States, and they control certain parts of our country,” he later said. “They control the drug flow. They control the prostitution. They control everything that’s illegal in certain portions of the country. We have to look into that. It’s very important that we understand why we are having so many people from China, especially military-aged men, from China.”
“I don’t want to cause mass hysteria where United States citizens are violent towards people from China,” Judd said. “However, we have to … allow the intelligence community to do their job. We’ve got to let law enforcement do their job and look into these individuals.”
Many Chinese immigrants are leaving due to economic conditions in China and its strict lockdowns, Yahoo News reported.
“Again, at best, they’re here for a better life,” Judd said. “At worst, they’re here to be part of the Chinese government to infiltrate our own country.”
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