Two Chinese nationals have been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice for a decade-long spying and intelligence-stealing operation. The indictment claims Li Xiaoyu and Dong Jiazhi stole data from large tech companies in different countries, including the U.S. for years, and recently attempted to steal information on coronavirus vaccine developments from U.S. companies.
Firms in Maryland, Massachusetts, and California working on vaccines were targeted by the Chinese spies, as reported by Tech Crunch.
The pair hacked a Department of Energy network in Washington state, leading to their discovery by U.S. officials. Using different holes in software and password-stealing viruses, they dove deep into company and government databases, collecting secrets and data worth millions of dollars, according to the indictment.
Important U.S. military information was accessed as well.
“Li and Dong stole information regarding military satellite programs; military wireless networks and communications systems; high powered microwave and laser systems; a counter-chemical weapons system; and…helicopter integration systems,” reads the indictment.
U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said to Tech Crunch “that the indictments were ‘concrete examples’ of how China used hackers to ‘rob, replicate and replace’ non-Chinese companies in the global marketplace.”
The pair is reportedly in mainland China currently, so the indictments may lead to little action, according to reports.
The disturbing news comes as the topic of China heats up on the campaign trail. Vice President Mike Pence recently said “Biden Pretends To Be Tough On China.”
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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world
China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.
Key findings of the report are below.
“Persuaded to return”
According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.
Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.
The Nine Forbidden Countries
China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.
According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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