Daily US Times: A Singaporean man has pleaded guilty in the US to working as a Chinese spy. This is the latest incident in a growing stand-off between Washington and Beijing.
US officials say, Jun Wei Yeo was charged with using his political consultancy in America as a front to collect information for Chinese intelligence.
Separately, the US officials have confirmed a Chinese researcher accused of hiding her ties to China’s military was detained.
China earlier ordered the closure of the US consulate in Chengdu in retaliation of US decision to close its Houston consulate.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo clarified the decision saying the step was taken because China was “stealing” intellectual property.
Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, responded by saying that the US move was based on “a hodgepodge of anti-Chinese lies”.
After a 72-hour deadline for Chinese diplomats to leave the Houston consulate expired on Friday at 16:00 (21:00 GMT), US officials force open a door to enter the premises. Uniformed staff from the US State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security took up position to guard the entrance.
Tensions have been rising between the US and China – two nuclear powers – over several key issues, including ove the coronavirus pandemic, trade and China’s imposition of a controversial new security law in Hong Kong.
What is known about the Singaporean national?
The US Department of Justice said in a statement that Jun Wei Yeo, also known as Dickson Yeo, pleaded guilty in a federal court on Friday for working as Chinese spy or illegal agent of the Chinese government in 2015-19,
Mr Yeo was earlier charged with using his political consultancy in the country as a front to collect valuable, non-public information for Chinese intelligence.
He admitted to scouting for Americans with high-level security clearance and getting them to write reports for fake clients.
Mr Yeo was arrested as he flew in to the US in 2019.
And what about the arrested Chinese researcher?
US officials named the researchers as Juan Tang, aged 37.
She was among four Chinese nationals charged earlier this week with visa fraud for allegedly lying about serving in the Chinese Army.
Juan Tang was the last of the four to be detained in California, after the US had accused the Chinese consulate in San Francisco of harbouring her.
How she was arrested is not immediately clear.
The Associated Press reports that FBI agents have found pictures of Juan Tang dressed in military uniform and reviewed articles in China identifying her military affiliation.