A Singaporean man has pleaded guilty to functioning as a foreign agent for China in the united states, as diplomatic tensions between Washington and Beijing continue to innovate.
Jun Wei Yeo, also called Dickson Yeo, pleaded guilty Friday too with his political consultancy in the United States as a front to gather data for Chinese intellect, the US Justice Department said.
Yeo stated from 2015 to 2019, he worked for Chinese intellect” to identify and evaluate Americans using invaluable non-public info, including US government and military workers with high-tech safety clearances.”
The plea comes as China ordered the closure of the US consulate at the south-western town of Chengdu on Friday.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo labeled the consulate”a heart of intellectual property theft.”
Tensions between the united states and China have dropped since 2018, which began using a trade war.
It led to Washington and Beijing slapping tariffs on countless billions of dollars worth of the export products, following the Trump government accused China of unfair trading practices. Negotiations between the two sides are continuing.
Their relationship has soured in the previous year with problems arising over tech, the US blaming the COVID-19 outbreak on China, and Beijing’s clampdown on Hong Kong’s independence.
The US has also detained four Chinese academics lately, charging them with lying visa programs in their ties to the People’s Liberation Army.
According to the US, Yeo was recruited by Chinese intelligence when working as an academic at the National University of Singapore.
Yeo’s LinkedIn webpage stated he was employed as a political risk analyst centered on China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) states, stating that he had been”bridging North America together with Beijing, Tokyo, and Southeast Asia.”
The court filing stated Yeo has been led by Chinese intellect to start up a bogus consultancy and extend jobs.
He supposedly received over 400 resumes, 90 percent of these were from the US army or government employees with security clearances.
Yeo was detained as he flew into the US in 2019.
He had been”with career media sites along with also a fictitious consulting company to lure Americans who are of interest to the Chinese authorities,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers at a statement.
“This is just one more illustration of the Chinese administration’s manipulation of the willingness of American culture,” he explained.