US accuses one American and four Chinese officials of espionage

A US citizen and four Chinese intelligence officers have been accused of spying on Chinese dissidents, human rights leaders and pro-democracy activists living in the United States. said on Wednesday.

The indictment accuses Wang Shujun of Queens, New York, of using his status within the Chinese diaspora and dissident communities to gather information about activists on behalf of China’s Ministry of State Security.

Wang, 73, was arrested on March 16 and will be arraigned at a later date, the Justice Department said. The four MSS officials, who were named by the department as Feng He, Jie Ji, Ming Li and Keqing Lu, are still at large, it added. The charges were opened in a federal court in Brooklyn on Tuesday.

“Today’s indictment exposes and disrupts an operation by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that threatens the security and freedom of Chinese nationals residing in the United States because of their pro-democracy beliefs and expression,” the US Attorney for Eastern Affairs said. district of China. New York Breon Peace said.

Representatives for Wang were not immediately available for comment.

“The so-called US allegations are pure fabrications,” the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC, said in a written statement to Reuters.

“We urge the US to conduct a fair and lawful investigation, handle relevant matters appropriately and uphold the legal rights of affected Chinese citizens.”

Wang has provided information to the MSS since at least 2011, the indictment said.

The MSS officials ordered Wang to target pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, advocates for Taiwanese independence and Uyghur and Tibetan activists, it says.