Chinese engineer 'Ji Chaoqun' sentenced to 8 years in US prison for spying

An ex-graduate student from Chicago was given an eight-year prison term on Wednesday for spying for the Chinese government by compiling data on American engineers and scientists. 

Ji Chaoqun, a Chinese national, was detained in 2018 after arriving in the US in 2013 to study electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. 

Ji Chaoqun later joined the US Army Reserves. The 31-year-old was found guilty in September of providing a materially false statement to the US Army and operating unlawfully as an agent of China's Ministry of State Security (MSS).

 Ji was tasked, according to the Justice Department, with giving an intelligence officer biographical data about people who might be hired as Chinese spies.

Ji joined the United States Army Reserves under a policy that permits foreigners to enlist if their abilities are deemed "essential to the national interest." 

According to the report, Ji met with a US undercover agent acting as a member of China's MSS in 2018. 

Ji met with an undercover US law enforcement agent who was impersonating a member of China's MSS on many occasions in 2018. 

Ji claimed during these encounters that he could visit and take pictures of "Roosevelt-class" aircraft carriers using his military identification.


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