US Dept. of Justice Charges 13 on Alleged PRC Influence Operations

On Monday, the US Dept. of Justice and FBI announced charges against 13 people allegedly involved in attempts by the Chinese government to influence US operations as part of three separate cases.

US Dept. of Justice Charges 13 on Alleged PRC Influence Operations
Image credit: forbes

Facts

  • On Monday, the US Dept. of Justice and FBI announced charges against 13 people allegedly involved in attempts by the Chinese government to influence US operations as part of three separate cases.
  • Two of the cases were filed in federal court in the eastern district of New York, where in one instance two suspected Chinese spies were charged with trying to obstruct a federal investigation into an unnamed China-based global telecommunications company, speculated to be Huawei.
  • The indictment states that Guochun He and Zheng Wang tried to steal the prosecution's strategy documentation, witness lists, and other evidence from the US attorney’s office for the eastern district of New York.
  • Beginning in 2019, both defendants allegedly paid $61K worth of bitcoin to a double agent working for the US. Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that the Chinese government "sought to interfere with the rights and freedoms of individuals in the United States and to undermine our judicial system."
  • In a second of the three cases, three Chinese intelligence officers and another individual were charged for allegedly conspiring to act in the US as illegal agents for a foreign government between 2008-2018. The third involved an alleged scheme to pressure a Chinese national in the US to return to China.

Sources: Forbes, NPR Online News, Guardian, CBS, and FOX News.

Narratives

  • Anti-China narrative narrative, as provided by Washington Examiner. The US Dept. of Justice took a bold step to crack down on Chinese influence in America. While some of the allegations sound like gaffes and missteps on the part of the PRC, the reality is deadly serious and the Biden administration must go further to deter China's aggressive misconduct in the US.
  • Pro-China narrative, as provided by Global Times. Washington's China policy is hypocritical, dangerous, and full of falsehoods. China does not spy, hack, steal information, or even attempt to take advantage of the US. The US has created this narrative to protect its interests, attempting to maintain and preserve its international hegemony.

Predictions