California Man Accused of Spying for China Over 1,000 investigations with China
A California man was arrested early last week for being a potential spy for the People’s Republic of China. The Justice Department announced in last Monday’s press, that the man operated tours for Chinese students and his visitors were taken in and arrested. This arrest was carefully planned by the FBI, their operation targeted Chinese intelligence operatives in the U.S. According to the FBI, the operatives were delivering national security information to China.
The 56 year old, Xuehua Edward Peng was arrested last Friday in his home in San Francisco, for being a potential spy for the Chinese Government. A criminal complaint was issued and filed in the Northern District of California. Peng is a naturalized U.S citizen (someone who admitted to the citizenship of a country). He entered the country with a short-term business visitor visa, he then proceeded to becoming a lasting citizen in 2006. It was finalized in September of 2012.
John C. Demers the Assistant Attorney General of National Security, stated that Peng’s arrest “exposes and disrupts an operation by those Chinese intelligence officers to collect such information without having to step foot in this country.” The FBI are still unsure on how long Peng has been operating as a spy for China. There has been over six occasions between 2015 and 2018, that Peng would seal a hotel room and leave up to 20,000 dollars. The agent would then get a key to that room, take the cash, and leave a card with classified information inside. In every occasion Peng would take the card and travel to the capital of China, Beijing, to meet Chinese intelligence officers.
China is the number one counterintelligence threat to the U.S today, Russia is another serious threat but China has taken the number one spot. Back in July, Christopher Wray an FBI director testified in front of the senate panel that the FBI has over 1,000 investigations which all lead back to China.
The investigation is still ongoing. If Peng is convicted he is looking at 10 years in prison and a 250,000 dollar fine for acting as an agent for a foreign country/government. On Wednesday he was denied bail and the services to a public defender. The investigation will continue into next week.