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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In October, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) operative Yanjun Xu for allegedly attempting to commit economic espionage and steal trade secrets from multiple U.S. aviation and aerospace companies.

What's happening: Xu is awaiting trial in U.S. custody, after he had been lured to Belgium, arrested, and then extradited to the U.S. One of his targets was reportedly GE Aviation, and this week local Cincinnati WCPO provided new details on the case in their report...

On May 25, 2017, the 41-year-old engineer loaded five GE Aviation documents to the hard drive of his personal laptop, then drove from Cincinnati to Detroit, where he boarded a flight to China...
WCPO is not naming the engineer because he has not been charged with a crime. He has not responded to our requests for comment...
What follows is the most detailed public chronology of the events leading to Xu's arrest, events that shed new light on how brazenly China shops for America's corporate secrets and the kind of effort required to keep these alleged spies from ringing up a sale.

Why it matters: Xi's exhortations to achieve "self-reliance" and "control core technologies" increase the pressure on the PRC bureaucracy to work even harder to obtain those core technologies by any means necessary.

The other side: At the same time, the DOJ under Trump has more aggressively publicized these cases and for the first time extradited a serving MSS operative to the U.S. Regardless of what happens with the trade negotiations, this is an area where U.S.-China tensions look set to increase markedly.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

13 mins ago - World

South Korean president: Trump "beat around the bush and failed" on North Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaking in Seoul in March 2021. Photo: Jeon Heon-Kyun/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

South Korean President Moon Jae-in criticized former President Trump's attempts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, telling the New York Times he "beat around the bush" with North Korea and "failed to pull it through."

Why it matters: Moon, now in his final year in office, called denuclearization a "matter of survival" for South Korea and urged President Biden to resume negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after a standstill of nearly two years.

28 mins ago - World

U.S.-Israel tensions bubble up as Iran talks progress

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Eric Baradat (AFP), Gali Tibbon (AFP)/Getty Images

As nuclear talks in Vienna enter a critical stage, the gaps and suspicions over Iran between the Israeli government and the Biden administration are growing.

Why it matters: Both sides want to avoid the kind of public fight that emerged during the negotiations over the 2015 deal. But in private, there's growing frustration on both sides about the lack of trust, coordination and transparency.

47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Cadillac's electric shift begins with launch of 2023 Lyriq SUV

2023 Cadillac Lyriq. Photo: GM

GM plans to start taking orders in September for the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, a striking electric SUV coming early next year at a starting price of $59,900.

Why it matters: The production version of the Lyriq, which debuted Wednesday, marks the beginning of the luxury brand's phaseout of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2030.