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Monday, June 12, 2006

China Angrily Denies Involvement in Theft of U.S. Military Technology

China angrily denied June 8 that it was involved in alleged attempts to steal U.S. military technology that has led to formal charges against five people in a California court.

”The so-called accusations that China steals military secrets from the U.S. through many channels, this is groundless slander made out of ulterior motives,” foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told journalists.

He refused further comment on the case that June 7 led to the indictments in California of a mother and her son who were charged with acting as agents for Beijing to steal sensitive U.S. Navy warship technology and smuggle it to China.

Fuk Heung Li, 48, and her son, Billy Yui Mak, 26, were also charged with making false statements to federal authorities, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

Last month, prosecutors said they would seek more serious charges against Chinese-born engineer Mak Chi, 65, who worked for a U.S. defense contractor, his wife, Rebecca Chiu Lai-wah, 62; and Mak’s brother, former television director Mak Tai-wing, 56.

Mak Tai-wing and Fuk Heung Li were arrested at the Los Angeles airport in October as they tried to board a flight to China with a CD-ROM allegedly containing technical information about the U.S. Navy’s current and future warship technologies, the Justice Department said.

Mak Chi, an engineer with U.S. military contractor Power Paragon, allegedly collected the sensitive information and, with his wife, copied it onto CD-ROM disks, the department said. The disks were given to Mak Tai-wing.

The suspects face up to 10 years in prison on the charge of failing to register as a foreign agent and up to five years on the false statement charges.
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