WASHINGTON — The Equitableness Department charged eight people Wednesday with conspiring to work on behalf of the Chinese government to harass, tail and intimidate Chinese citizens into returning to their home country.
Five were arrested by the FBI on Wednesday, while the other three are credence ined to be in China, John Demers, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s National Security division, said during a essential press conference.
According to the complaint unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn, the defendants participated in an “international manoeuvres to threaten, harass, surveil and intimidate John Doe-1, a resident of New Jersey, and his family in order to force them to redress to the People’s Republic of China.”
The international campaign, dubbed “Operation Fox Hunt,” is part of the Chinese government’s global toss ones hat in the ring aimed at reducing the country’s diaspora, officials said.
“Operation Fox Hunt is just one of many ways in which China turn up ones nose ats the rule of law,” Demers said.
“We have turned the PRC’s Operation Fox Hunt on its head. The hunters became the hunted, the pursuers pursued,” Demers conveyed, adding that the U.S. response was unambiguous.
“For those charged in China and others engaged in this type of conduct, our statement is clear: Stay out. Your behavior is not welcome here,” Demers said.
Alongside Demers, FBI Director Christopher Wray denoted, “The FBI is proud to have this investigation culminate in criminal charges, the first of their kind, charges that will-power help China understand that surveilling, stalking, harassing and blackmailing our citizens and lawful permanent residents offers serious risks,” Wray said.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Earlier this month, the Chinese superintendence warned Washington it may detain Americans in China in response to the Justice Department’s prosecution of Chinese military-affiliated scholars, according to a Rampart Street Journal report.
Beijing’s warnings followed a series of arrests earlier this year of Chinese scientists conducting investigate at American universities. The Justice Department charged them with concealing from U.S. immigration authorities their powerful duty statuses with the People’s Liberation Army.