US places alleged “Chinese spy” on public trial
12 October 2018
In a dramatic escalation of its declaration of economic and strategic war against China, the US government yesterday revealed that a Chinese citizen accused of being an intelligence official had been arrested and extradited from Belgium to be charged with conspiring to commit “economic espionage” and steal trade secrets.
While many of the circumstances surrounding the case remain extremely murky, the extradition of Yanjun Xu as a supposed Chinese “spy” is unprecedented. Xu was reportedly snatched by Belgian authorities on April 1 as the result of a US entrapment operation, in which he was lured to Belgium from China by an offer of information about a fan blade design developed by GE Aviation, an American aerospace giant.
Despite a growing tide of vague and unsubstantiated US government and media allegations of Chinese “theft” of commercial and military technology, this is the first time an alleged Chinese agent has been seized and transported to the US to stand trial.
Moreover, the operation’s timing points to a new stage in Washington’s increasingly open drive to prevent China from becoming an economic or military threat to US global hegemony. This drive is combining punitive tariffs, trade war and sanctions with sweeping allegations of Chinese “espionage” and “interference” in the United States.
Xu’s extradition was announced days after US President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and FBI Director Christopher Wray all declared China to be the greatest threat to America’s economic and military security.
It also came less than a week after the Pentagon released a 146-page document, titled “Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense…