The Department of Justice arrested two sailors in separate cases for spying for the People’s Republic of China. China expects Chinese-born people in America to spy for them if asked.
Jinchao Wei, a 22-year-old sailor assigned to the San Diego-based USS Essex, was arrested Wednesday while boarding the ship. Wei is accused of passing detailed information on the weapons systems and aircraft aboard the Essex and other amphibious assault ships that act as small aircraft carriers.
He was born in China. He did it for $10,000 to $15,000.
The Justice Department also charged sailor Wenheng Zhao, 26, based at Naval Base Ventura County, north of San Diego, with conspiring to collect nearly $15,000 in bribes from a Chinese intelligence officer in exchange for operational plans for a large-scale U.S. military exercise in the Indo-Pacific region, which detailed the location and timing of naval force movements, and other information including electrical diagrams and blueprints for a radar system in a base in Okinawa, Japan.
Prosecutors say Zhao, who also went by the name Thomas Zhao, also surreptitiously recorded information that he handed over. If convicted, Zhao could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Grossman said the charges reflect that China “stands apart in terms of the threat that its government poses to the United States. China is unrivaled in its audacity and the range of its maligned efforts to subvert our laws.”
He added that the U.S. will use “every tool in our arsenal to counter the threat and to deter China and those who have violated the rule of law and threaten our national security.”
These two did it for a paltry sum of money. Were they sent here from China, or did they do it for the pittance?