WASHINGTON D.C.: The Department of Justice has said that an American citizen and four Chinese intelligence officers have been charged with spying on Chinese dissidents, human rights leaders and pro-democracy activists residing in the U.S.
New York resident Wang Shujun, 73, is accused of using his position in the Chinese diaspora and dissident communities to collect information on behalf of China's Ministry of State Security.
The Justice Department said Wang was arrested on 16th March and will be arraigned at a later date, while the four Chinese officials, identified as Feng He, Jie Ji, Ming Li and Keqing Lu, remain at large.
The indictment was unsealed this week in a federal court in Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said, "Today's indictment exposes and disrupts an operation by the People's Republic of China that threatens the safety and freedom of Chinese nationals residing in the U.S. on account of their pro-democracy beliefs and speech."
In a written statement provided to Reuters, the Chinese embassy in Washington D.C. responded, "The so-called accusations made by the U.S. is a pure fabrication. We urge the U.S. side to conduct a fair and lawful investigation, properly handle relevant cases, and safeguard the legal rights of the Chinese citizens involved."
The indictment claims that Wang has provided information to the Chinese since at least 2011, directed to target Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, advocates for Taiwanese independence and Uyghur and Tibetan activists.