US charges aim to cre­ate hos­til­ity

Depart­ment of Jus­tice in­dicted 10 Chi­nese for steal­ing jet en­gine IP

Global Times US Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Liu Xuanzun

The ac­cu­sa­tions from the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice in­dict­ing that “Chi­nese in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers” lead a five-year op­er­a­tion to steal in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty re­lated to jet en­gines used in com­mer­cial air­lin­ers are ir­re­spon­si­ble and part of a strat­egy to pres­sure China, ex­perts said on Wed­nes­day.

The charge by the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice was also slammed by Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry. Min­istry spokesper­son Lu Kang dis­missed the US charge at Wed­nes­day’s rou­tine press con­fer­ence as “sheer fic­tion and com­pletely fab­ri­cated.”

The US depart­ment in­dicted on Tues­day 10 Chi­nese na­tion­als, in­clud­ing sev­eral peo­ple the depart­ment claims are in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers who hacked com­put­ers and stole de­sign plans for turbo fans used to power jet en­gines.

Wang Ya’nan, chief edi­tor of Bei­jing- based Aero­space Knowl­edge mag­a­zine, said the ac­cu­sa­tions don’t make sense, as data from other en­gines can­not be ap­plied to China’s do­mes­ti­cally built air­craft.

“Even if you have the data from an­other prod­uct, it’s very un­likely you can use it on your own,” Wang noted.

The de­vel­op­ment of an air­craft en­gine is de­fined by many pa­ram­e­ters, in­clud­ing de­sign re­quire­ments and user de­mands, so this makes the de­vel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment very dif­fer­ent for each air­craft and en­gine, Wang said.

No hard ev­i­dence

The US Depart­ment of Jus­tice’s state­ment on its web­site ac­cuses Chi­nese in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers and their re­cruited hack­ers and in­sid­ers of con­spir­ing to steal sen­si­tive com­mer­cial avi­a­tion and tech­no­log­i­cal data from US com­pa­nies and sev­eral com-

pa­nies in other coun­tries.

The US depart­ment said that “Chi­nese in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers Zha Rong and Chai Meng led hack­ers on theft op­er­a­tions in­volv­ing a tur­bo­fan en­gine used in US and Euro­pean com­mer­cial air­lin­ers from at least Jan­uary 2010 to May 2015.”

The state­ment does not men­tion if the “Chi­nese in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers” or oth­ers named in the 21-page in­dict­ment have been served with the in­dict­ment or even ques­tioned. CNN said on Wed­nes­day that if they are in China, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment is un­likely to give them up as the US does not have an ex­tra­di­tion treaty with China.

The in­dict­ment presents no hard ev­i­dence and the state­ment is a long nar­ra­tive out­lin­ing per­ceived mis­deeds, said Chi­nese ex­perts.

The US Jus­tice Depart­ment state­ment said that the Chi­nese in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers and their team of hack­ers used a range of tech­niques, in­clud­ing in­stalling mal­ware in com­pany com­puter sys­tems, do­main hi­jack­ing and co-opt­ing com­pany em­ploy­ees.

“The US needs to present con­crete ev­i­dence” if the charges are to be be­lieved, Wang said.

US not in­no­cent

This is not the first time this year the US has ac­cused Chi­nese in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers of un­der­tak­ing “in­tel­li­gence ac­tiv­i­ties.”

On Oc­to­ber 10, the Jus­tice Depart­ment charged “Chi­nese spy” Xu Ya­jun with eco­nomic es­pi­onage af­ter he was ar­rested in Bel­gium in April and ex­tra­dited to the US on Oc­to­ber 9. Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesper­son Lu said on Oc­to­ber 11 the charges were “purely fab­ri­cated.”

The US has car­ried out so­phis­ti­cated es­pi­onage op­er­a­tions in China, in­tel­li­gence ex­perts say. Wash­ing­ton­based mag­a­zine For­eign Pol­icy re­ported on Au­gust 15 that the CIA had botched the com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem it used to in­ter­act with its sources in China and Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties were able to “sys­tem­at­i­cally dis­man­tle” the CIA’s net­work of agents across the coun­try.

“It was con­sid­ered one of the CIA’s worst fail­ures in decades,” the re­port said. China has nei­ther con­firmed nor de­nied the ac­tiv­i­ties de­scribed in the For­eign Pol­icy re­port.

Hos­tile sen­ti­ment against China

Ni Feng, deputy di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of Amer­i­can Stud­ies un­der the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, said on Wed­nes­day that the US’ move is closely re­lated to its per­cep­tion of China, which has been clas­si­fied by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion as a longterm strate­gic com­peti­tor.

All US de­part­ments will be­gin to adopt this tac­tic, and ac­cus­ing China of clan­des­tine ac­tiv­i­ties is part of an over­ar­ch­ing strat­egy, Ni said.

As­sis­tant At­tor­ney Gen­eral for Na­tional Se­cu­rity John C. De­mers said in the state­ment on Tues­day that the US will re­dou­ble ef­forts to safe­guard its in­ge­nu­ity and in­vest­ment. “This is just the be­gin­ning,” De­mers said.

“The US is try­ing to cre­ate hos­tile sen­ti­ments so peo­ple in the US will sup­port the US-ini­ti­ated trade war and as a means to pres­sure China,” Ni told the Global Times, not­ing that China needs to be pre­pared for more of these ac­cu­sa­tions.

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