Universities are breeding grounds for China-run intellectual property theft of U.S. military secrets, but someone is finally going to prison
07/18/2019 / By JD Heyes / Comments
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Universities are breeding grounds for China-run intellectual property theft of U.S. military secrets, but someone is finally going to prison

China has long targeted the United States for espionage and has mostly gotten away with stealing terabytes of sensitive U.S. military, financial, and industrial data.

But recently, and for a change, an agent of China was busted by the U.S. government and now faces life in prison.

The Epoch Times reports that Yi-Chi Shih, an adjunct professor at UCLA in the Engineering Department, was arrested by the FBI in January and since convicted of stealing missile technology then selling it to China. He now faces up to 219 years in prison.

According to a press release from the Justice Department, Yi was convicted June 26 on all 18 counts in a federal grand jury indictment.

“The Department’s China Initiative is focused on preventing and prosecuting thefts of American technology and intellectual property for the benefit of China,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers.  

“The defendant has been found guilty of conspiring to export sensitive semiconductor chips with military applications to China. I would like to thank the prosecutors and agents, including those from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, for theirs efforts in this successful investigation and prosecution.”

“This defendant schemed to export to China semiconductors with military and civilian uses, then he lied about it to federal authorities and failed to report income generated by the scheme on his tax returns,” said United States Attorney Nick Hanna. 

“My office will enforce laws that protect our nation’s intellectual property from being used to benefit foreign adversaries who may compromise our national security.” (Related: Was Hillary Clinton or Dianne Feinstein responsible for the exposure and deaths of 20 CIA spies in China?)

The statement noted: 

According to the evidence presented at trial, Shih and co-defendant Kiet Ahn Mai, 65, of Pasadena, California, conspired to illegally provide Shih with unauthorized access to a protected computer of a United States company that manufactured wide-band, high-power semiconductor chips known as monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs).

These chips, which have high military tech applications especially for missile guidance, include as customers the U.S. Navy, Air Force, an DARPA — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, where all the new whiz-bang technology is developed. 

Chinese infiltration of our defense infrastructure is extensive

“The FBI is committed to protecting institutions from adversaries who seek to steal sensitive American technology under the guise of research,” said Assistant Director in Charge Delacourt.

China long ago figured out that one of the easiest ways to infiltrate America is through infiltration of the American Left, because they are much less ‘suspicious,’ much more open to outside influences, and far less patriotic and ‘America first’ than their conservative peers.

As such, the Chinese government has found a home on many American college and university campuses, some of the most Left-wing havens in the country — and where Chinese influence and espionage would be least suspected.

One way China has expanded its influence on universities is through its Confucius Institutes program. In February, Fox News reported that China was using the program to infiltrate American colleges in a bid to both recruit spies and to indoctrinate students to adopt policy stances that are advantageous to Beijing.

“The Chinese counter-intelligence threat is more deep, more diverse, more vexing, more challenging, more comprehensive and more concerning than any counterintelligence threat that I can think of,” FBI Director Christopher Wray testified at a Senate Intelligence Committee that month.

In July 2017, The National Sentinel reported that a Chinese dissident says Beijing had as many as 25,000 spies in the U.S. Guo Wengui, a billionaire businessman who broke with the Communist government several months prior, said China had infiltrated America’s most critical military and defense infrastructure and is threatening our country.

“I know the Chinese spy system very, very well,” he said through an interpreter, the Washington Free Beacon added. 

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