The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Five Chinese agents arrested in US for targeting Beijing opponents

Five Chinese agents arrested in US for targeting Beijing opponents

WORLD: Five Chinese agents were arrested yesterday (Oct 28) for their roles in an operation targeting Beijing’s opponents in the United States, US officials announced.

Chinese
By AFP

Thursday 29 October 2020, 10:12AM


Assistant Attorney General John Demers (left) and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced the arrests of five Chinese agents for their roles in an operation targeting Chinese government opponents in the United States. Photo: AFP.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers (left) and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced the arrests of five Chinese agents for their roles in an operation targeting Chinese government opponents in the United States. Photo: AFP.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers said charges had been filed against eight people involved in an “illegal Chinese law enforcement operation known as Fox Hunt.”

“Since 2014, at the direction of Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping, China has been engaged in a global operation known as Fox Hunt,” Demers said at a press conference.

“China describes Fox Hunt as an international anti-corruption campaign in which it seeks to locate legitimate fugitives around the world and bring them to China to face genuine criminal charges,” Demers said.

“But in many instances the hunted are opponents of Communist Party Chairman Xi - political rivals, dissidents, critics,” he said. “And in either event, the operation is a clear violation of the rule of law and international norms.”

Demers said Chinese “repatriation squads” had entered the United States to “locate the alleged fugitives, and deploy intimidation and other tactics to force them back into China where they would face certain imprisonment or worse following illegitimate trials.”

The Justice Department announcement comes at a time of rising tensions between the US and China over the coronavirus pandemic, which President Donald Trump has repeatedly blamed on Beijing.

Demers said five Chinese agents were arrested in the United States yesterday to face charges of “conspiring to act in the United States as illegal agents of the People’s Republic of China.”

Three of those charged - Zhu Yong, 64, a Chinese citizen and permanent US resident; Hongru Jin, a 30-year-old naturalized US citizen; and Michael McMahon, a 53-year-old US citizen and licensed private detective - were arrested in New York and New Jersey.

The other two - Rong Jing, 38, a Chinese citizen and permanent US resident, and Zheng Congying, 24, a Chinese citizen and permanent US resident - were arrested in California.

The other three facing charges - Zhu Feng, 33; Hu Ji, 45; and Li Minjun, 64, - remain at large and are believed to be in China, the Justice Department said.

QSI International School Phuket

“The Chinese government’s brazen attempts to surveil, threaten, and harass our own citizens and lawful permanent residents, while on American soil, are part of China’s diverse campaign of theft and malign influence in our country and around the world,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said.

He said the targeting of Chinese nationals viewed as threats to the regime was not confined to the United States but was also taking place in other countries.

“These are not the actions we would expect from a responsible nation-state,” Wray said. “Instead they’re more like something we would expect from an organized criminal syndicate.”

The Justice Department did not identify the targeted individuals but it provided details of some of the methods used against them.

One case involved a man identified only as “John Doe-1,” a resident of New Jersey accused by China of abuse of government power and accepting bribes.

The Justice Department said Chinese agents used a visit to the United States by John Doe-1’s elderly father in an attempt to persuade him and his family to return to China.

They also conducted surveillance and online harassment of John Doe-1’s adult daughter as part of a campaign to exert pressure on John Doe-1, the Justice Department said.

In September 2018, the department said, a threatening note was affixed to the door of John Doe-1’s residence stating: “If you are willing to go back to mainland and spend 10 years in prison, your wife and children will be all right. That’s the end of this matter!”

The charges of conspiracy to act as an agent of China carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Heavy downpours across Phuket set to continue

A Singapore Air plane took off in a microburst couple of weeks ago, barreled right through it. I can...(Read More)


Phuket ‘Third Wave’ COVID infections breach 1,000

These infections are NOT driven by sandbox infected arrivals are contained - Bridge should have been...(Read More)


Prayut vows not to resign

Announcement No 28- very 1984. the days of the sheepul are past- I hear more and more Thais I know s...(Read More)


US commits another 2.5 million Pfizer doses to Thailand

Thailands Plan has always been to buy Sinovac and AZ, because High So Thais have big interests in th...(Read More)


Phuket Sandbox on two-week ‘watch’

"Amazing that on Phuket no Covid patients need breathing tube" ? That has simply to do wit...(Read More)


PM Prayut orders action against COVID-19 fake news

Hate to say it but it is very unclear whether what we hear from the government is actually the truth...(Read More)


PM Prayut orders action against COVID-19 fake news

The serial whinger is at it again. Why are you even in this country if ALL you ever do is complain a...(Read More)


Phuket Sandbox on two-week ‘watch’

@Robby, May we say that even 2 jabs of chinese vaccines are to weak/ineffective, seen the Phuket war...(Read More)


Phuket ‘Third Wave’ COVID infections breach 1,000

And the numbers will continue to climb if they keep on going with the ill-fated sandbox. Time to bri...(Read More)


Heavy downpours across Phuket set to continue

Is the TMD ever going to fix the Phuket radar so we can see when bad weather is coming. It has be...(Read More)