Washington: US federal prosecutors charged five alleged Chinese agents for spying and harassing Chinese nationals living in the United States who have been critical of Beijing, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.
“Two complaints were unsealed, and one amended complaint was authorized today in federal court charging five defendants with various crimes related to efforts by the secret police of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to stalk, harass and spy on Chinese nationals residing in Queens, New York, and elsewhere in the United States,” the Justice Department said in a press release.
Fan Liu, Matthew Ziburis and Shujun Wang are in US custody while two other individuals Qiming Lin and Qiang Sun remain at large, the release said.
The individuals allegedly perpetrated transnational repression schemes to target Chinese nationals living in the United States because their political views and actions are disfavored by the Chinese government, the release said.
US media reports said the Chinese agents targeted lawyer and political activist Arthur Liu, who helped organize pro-democracy demonstrations when he lived in China.
Democratic congressional candidate in the state of New York Xiong Yan was another target, he had been involved in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, the report said. If convicted, Liu and Ziburis face up to 20 years in prison while Liu and Sun face up to five years in prison, the release said.