Five People Charged for Being Spies of the Chinese Government Involved in Harassment Campaigns Against U.S. Citizens

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors in New York charged five individuals with acting on behalf of the Chinese government as they attempted to spy on U.S. citizens, and to subsequently harass them for criticism of China.

As reported by the Washington Post, three separate charges were brought against each of the five defendants in Brooklyn, with the charges coming from the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. The defendants have been accused of stalking and harassing Chinese nationals living in the country who are now critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

In one example, one of the spies tried to interfere with the congressional candidacy of a military veteran who said he had been a leader of the student protesters at the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. In another instance, the defendants allegedly plotted to destroy the artwork of a former Chinese national currently living in Los Angeles. In another of the accusations, a defendant is accused of using his position within the Chinese community of New York City to seek information about prominent Chinese dissidents and anti-CCP activists, in order to send such information to the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS).

“Transnational repression harms people in the United States and around the world and threatens the rule of law itself,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew G. Olsen. The Department of Justice “will not allow any foreign government” to target American citizens, he added.

Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said that the new charges “reveal the outrageous and dangerous lengths” that the Chinese government has gone to in order to “silence, harass, discredit and spy on U.S. residents for simply exercising their freedom of speech.”

The five defendants are Fan “Frank” Liu, Matthew Ziburis, Qiang “Jason” Sun, Qiming Lin, and Shujun Wang. Of these five, Sun and Lin remain at large while the other three were arrested; a judge set a bond of $300,000 for Wang, $500,000 for Ziburis, and $1 million for Liu.

The charges were filed as part of the Justice Department’s new efforts to renew its campaigns against the Chinese government’s surveillance efforts in the United States. The Department had faced widespread criticism earlier in the year for shutting down the China Initiative, a program established during the Trump Administration to crack down even further on Chinese spies, after far-left activists falsely claimed that the program was “racist.”

About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Getty Images

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