China syndromeChinese nationals convicted of illegally exporting military technology to China

Published 18 May 2010

The Chinese broad campaign of stealing U.S. military and commercial technology intensifies, but so does the rate of conviction of Chinese and American nationals who are the foot soldiers in this campaign; two Chinese nationals are convicted in Massachusetts for illegally delivering to China electronics components used in military radar and electronic warfare

Following a five-week trial, a federal jury in Massachusetts found two Chinese nationals, one of whom resided in the United States, guilty of illegally conspiring to violate U.S. export laws and illegally exporting electronic equipment from the United States to China, the Justice Department announced. Several Chinese military entities were among those receiving the exported equipment. The jury also convicted a Waltham, Massachusetts, corporation, owned by one of the defendants, which procured the equipment from U.S. suppliers and then exported the goods to China through Hong Kong. The exported equipment is used in electronic warfare, military radar, fire control, military guidance and control equipment and satellite communications, including global positioning systems.

Zhen Zhou Wu aka Alex Wu, Yufeng Wei aka Annie Wei, and Chitron Electronics Inc. (Chitron-U.S.), were convicted of unlawfully exporting defense articles and Commerce controlled goods to China on numerous occasions between 2004 and 2007 and conspiring to violate U.S. export laws over a period of ten years. Wu and Wei were also both convicted of filing false shipping documents with the Commerce Department. In addition, Wei was convicted of immigration fraud for presenting a U.S. Permanent Resident Card, which she knew had been procured by making false and fraudulent statements to immigration officials, to enter the country.

Today’s convictions demonstrate the importance of safeguarding America’s sensitive technology against illicit foreign procurement efforts. They also serve as a warning to those who seek to covertly obtain technological materials from the U.S. in order to advance military systems of their own. I applaud the many agents, analysts and prosecutors who helped bring about this successful outcome,” said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

Evidence presented at trial proved that the defendants illegally exported military electronic components, which are designated on the U.S. Munitions List, to mainland China, through Hong Kong, between April 2004 and June 2006. The defense articles the defendants illegally exported are primarily used in military phased array radar, electronic warfare, military guidance systems, and military satellite communications. Since 1990 the U.S. government has maintained an arms embargo against China that prohibits the export, re-export, or re-transfer of any defense article to China.

For more than 10 years, this corporation and these defendants conspired to procure U.S. military products and other controlled electronic components for use in mainland China — for military radar, military satellite communications, and military guidance systems,” said U.S. Attorney Ortiz.

In doing so, these defendants violated U.S.