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American Sailor Sentenced for Selling Secrets to China – HotAir

As if we didn’t already have enough trouble with the CCP infiltrating our country, snapping up American land, and spying on us, now we have sailors from our own navy selling secrets to China. The latest incident involves 26-year-old Wenheng Zhao, a Petty Officer who had served at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, California. He confessed to accepting bribes from Chinese intelligence officers and delivering technical documents and military operational plans in return. He was just sentenced to 27 months in prison on two felony counts and will be discharged from the service. (NY Post)

A US Navy serviceman who admitted to accepting bribes from a Chinese intelligence officer in exchange for sensitive US military information has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison.

US District Judge R. Gary Klausner on Monday handed down the 27-month prison sentence to Petty Officer Wenheng Zhao, 26, of Monterey Park, Calif.

The Justice Department had sought a sentence of 37 months, arguing that Zhao had obstructed the government’s investigation.

When it comes to selling out your own country, Wenheng Zhao came pretty cheaply. He reportedly received just $15,000 from the Chinese intelligence officers. He also doesn’t seem to have been terribly careful in his plotting since they caught him fairly quickly. It’s not clear precisely how much damage he did to our national security, but he admitted to passing on plans for a large-scale maritime training exercise in the Pacific. He also handed over technical schematics from a Japanese radar system.

Zhao was born in China and is a naturalized citizen of the United States. Did he ever give up his fealty to Beijing or did he come to America with the best intentions, only to later be lured back by a promise of cash? I know the military still doesn’t pay very well, but $15,000 doesn’t sound like much of a payday in exchange for selling out your adopted motherland.

The reason I used the word “sailors” (plural) in the opening paragraph is that Zhao isn’t the only one to be caught doing this recently. 22-year-old Jinchao Wei is another sailor who was based in San Diego and was similarly found to be selling secrets about the Navy to Chinese intelligence agents. Wei was also paid an undisclosed amount of money. He appears to also be a naturalized citizen born in China. Are these similarities a coincidence? There doesn’t seem to be any suggestion that the two were working together in any fashion.

These sad incidents are yet another reminder that China is constantly working against us and gathering information surreptitiously. They are an enemy, not an ally. All countries spy on each other, including the United States, but that doesn’t mean we should take it lightly when we find a traitor among our own ranks.

Sadly, that happens a lot more often than many of us might have assumed. The Center for Strategic & International Studies lists 224 instances of Chinese espionage directed at the United States since the year 2000. That figure doesn’t include intellectual property theft or smuggling operations. Those are all instances like the two described above where people were found to be trading in illicit information with Chinese intelligence officers or their agents. They’ve noticed a shift in Chinese interests from intellectual property used for economic benefit to the direct gathering of military intelligence. That doesn’t bode well, so we will need to continue to be vigilant and root out the snakes in our midst.

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