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A Chinese intelligence officer has been convicted by a US jury of plotting to steal secrets from aviation companies, according to the US justice department.

Xu Yanjun was found guilty of five counts relating to economic espionage and trade secret theft.

He faces up to 60 years in prison and fines of more than $5m. According to a statement by the US justice department, Xu is a senior member of the Jiangsu branch of China’s Ministry of State Security – an agency responsible for counter-intelligence, foreign intelligence and internal security.

n one instance, he arranged for a GE Aviation employee to travel to China in 2017 to give a presentation at a university – paying for their travel expenses and a stipend.

The following year, Xu asked the expert for “system specification, design process” information. With co-operation from the company – which was working with the FBI – the employee emailed Xu a two-page document labelled as having sensitive information.

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