Berliner Tageblatt - China trying to 'undermine' US judicial system: Justice chief

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China trying to 'undermine' US judicial system: Justice chief
China trying to 'undermine' US judicial system: Justice chief / Photo: © POOL/AFP/File

China trying to 'undermine' US judicial system: Justice chief

The US Justice Department chief accused China of interfering with the American justice system Monday as he announced indictments of 13 Chinese nationals who allegedly worked for Beijing's spy agencies.

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Attorney General Merrick Garland detailed three separate cases in which Chinese intelligence operatives harassed dissidents inside the United States, tried to interfere in the prosecution of a Chinese telecoms giant understood to be Huawei, and pressured US academics to work for them.

The cases showed that China "sought to interfere with the rights and freedoms of individuals in the United States and to undermine our judicial system that protects those rights," said Garland.

"The Justice Department will not tolerate attempts by any foreign power to undermine the rule of law upon which our democracy is based," the top US law enforcement officer told a press conference.

Garland made the statement one day after Chinese President Xi Jinping secured a historic third term.

US officials have blamed Xi for what they see is a growing effort by China over the past decade to steal US intellectual property and to crack down on Chinese political dissidents in the United States.

One of the cases, focused on the harassment and pressure on dissidents, was unveiled last week.

In that case, seven Chinese nationals allegedly tried to force a US resident to go back to China. Two people were arrested, but five others -- all allegedly employees of Chinese intelligence agencies -- remain at large, likely in China.

In the second case, two Chinese intelligence officials working from China tried to recruit a US government employee to provide them inside information on the Justice Department's prosecution of Huawei.

In 2019 Huawei was charged with a systematic campaign of stealing US technology.

The third case involved Chinese intelligence operatives posing as academics to recruit operatives in the United States.

"In all three of these cases, and frankly, in thousands of others, we found the Chinese government threatening established democratic norms and the rule of law as they work to undermine US economic security and fundamental human rights," said FBI Director Christopher Wray.

N.Fournier--BTB