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US: Two US Navy personnel arrested, accused of sharing secret information with China

Pankaj Prasad
Two US Navy Men Arrested
Two US Navy Men Arrested

Two serving members of the US Navy have been arrested on suspicion of spying for China.

Two serving members of the US Navy have been arrested on suspicion of spying for China. The Justice Department gave this information on Thursday. The two are suspected of selling secret information to Beijing, including manuals for warships and their weapons systems, as well as blueprints for radar systems and plans for a massive US military exercise.

Suzanne Turner of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, who was involved in the sting, said these arrests are a reminder of the People's Republic of China's relentless and aggressive efforts to undermine our democracy and intimidate those who defend it. He said China compromised enlisted personnel to secure sensitive military information that could seriously jeopardize US national security.

In a press release, the Department of Justice said that Jinchao Wei, a sailor working aboard the amphibious warfare ship USS Essex in San Diego, discovered dozens of documents detailing the operation of the ship and its systems, Photos and videos were handed over. These included technical and mechanical manuals relating to their own ship's weapons. The 22-year-old man is alleged to have been paid thousands of dollars for the information. If convicted, he may have to spend the rest of his life in prison.

In a separate case, the Justice Department said Petty Officer Wenheng Zhao, 26, spied for China for nearly two years while at his post at Naval Base Ventura County, north of Los Angeles. Zhao is alleged to have been paid approximately $15,000 by a Chinese intelligence agent to provide information about large-scale US military exercises in the Indo-Pacific, including details of the ship's landing time and location .

He is also accused of handing over electrical diagrams and blueprints for a radar system at a US military base in southern Japan. "By sending this sensitive military information to an intelligence officer employed by a hostile foreign country, the defendant has betrayed his solemn oath to defend our country," said US Attorney Martin Estrada. They said that unlike the vast majority of US Navy personnel who serve their country with honor, pride and courage, Zhao chose to corruptly sell out his colleagues and his country.