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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

2 U.S. Navy Sailors Charged With Spying For China

Two US Navy sailors were charged Thursday with providing military information to China — including details on wartime exercises, naval operations, and critical technical material, Julie Watson and Lolita C. Baldor reported for the Associated Press (AP).

Photo Insert: The two sailors charged are Jinchao Wei, a 22-year-old sailor assigned to the San Diego-based USS Essex, who earned $15,000 from Beijing, and Wenheng Zhao, 26, based at Naval Base Ventura County.



“Through the alleged crimes committed by these defendants, sensitive military information ended up in the hands of the People’s Republic of China,” said US Attorney Randy Grossman for the Southern District of California.


He said the charges prove the Chinese government’s “determination to obtain information that is critical to our national defense by any means, so it could be used to their advantage.”


The two sailors charged are Jinchao Wei, a 22-year-old sailor assigned to the San Diego-based USS Essex, who earned $15,000 from Beijing, and Wenheng Zhao, 26, based at Naval Base Ventura County, who was paid $15,000 in bribes from a Chinese intelligence officer in exchange for US naval exercise plans, operational orders and photos and videos of electrical systems at Navy facilities between August 2021 through at least this May.





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