October 23, 2007:
Another Chinese citizen has been
indicted for trying to smuggle military equipment from the U.S. to China. In
this case, 39 year old Qing Li, who has been a legal resident of the U.S. since
1996, sought to buy and ship to China 30 piezoresistive accelerometers. These
small, $2,500 (each) devices are used in weapons (missiles and smart bombs),
and are prohibited from being sent to China without a State Department license.
Qing Li told a co-conspirator that she was doing this for a Chinese government
agency. Qing Li was arrested on October 14th as she was trying to fly to China.
If convicted, she could get five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI has encountered dozens of cases like this
in the past few years. Apparently China has called for an all-out effort to
obtain as much American military technology as possible, as quickly as possible
and in any way possible. Russia has been experiencing the same problem,
especially with military equipment sold to China, which is often cloned
quickly, and then manufactured in China, without compensating the Russians for
their technology. The Russians are not happy with this, nor are the European
firms getting the same treatment.