Two men believed to be Chinese intelligence agents have been charged with trying to obstruct the US criminal investigation and prosecution of Chinese tech giant Huawei.
Chinese nationals Guochun He and Zheng Wang are accused of offering bribes to a US official they believed to have recruited as a spy, but who was actually a double agent working for the FBI, the ministry said American Justice.
The men are accused of trying to get the official to provide confidential information about the department’s investigation, including witnesses, trial evidence and potential new charges.
The Ministry of Justice said one of the defendants paid around $61,000 (£54,000) for the information.
“The Department of Justice will not tolerate any attempt by any foreign power to undermine the rule of law on which our democracy is built,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.
The department added that warrants for the couple’s arrest have been issued, but it is unclear whether they will ever be taken into custody.
Washington has long accused Beijing of meddling in US political affairs and stealing secrets and intellectual property.
Last week, 11 other Chinese nationals were arrested or charged with offenses including harassing individuals in the United States to return to China, under what Beijing called “Operation Fox Hunt”. “.
Huawei not named but references are clear
Prosecutors said that at some point last year, the unnamed person provided defendants with a document that appeared to be classified and contained information about an alleged plan to indict and arrest Huawei executives in the United States. United.
However, the document was actually prepared by the government for the purposes of the prosecution which was made public on Monday, and the information it contains was not accurate.
What really happened during the attack on the Chinese consulate?
Huawei sues HSBC in Hong Kong over documents ‘willfully withheld’ by US
Although the company is not named in the charging documents, the references clearly point to Huawei, which was charged in 2019 with bank fraud and again the following year with new charges. racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to steal trade secrets.
Huawei has previously called the federal investigation a “political persecution, plain and simple.”
In 2020, the company said in a statement, “Attacking Huawei will not help the United States stay ahead of the competition.”