Top Chinese communist ran spy ring in US


One of China’s top communist party officials ordered the theft of Dupont’s most valuable trade secrets. The highest levels of the China Communist Party ran a notorious industrial espionage operation inside the US that used US citizens for its dirty work, newly released court documents reveal.

Walter Liew, a U.S. citizen, and his wife, Christina Liew, were indicted last year on three counts each, including witness tampering, making a false statement and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and evidence.

Now newly released court documents from prosecutors provide fresh details about Walter Liew’s alleged links with the Chinese government. They name, as one of the Chinese representatives who met with him, a high-ranking Communist Party official who later became a member of the Politburo. …

Liew was hosted at a banquet in 1991 by Luo Gan, who at the time was a high-ranking official of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, according to correspondence from Liew that U.S. federal officials say they seized from his safety deposit box. Luo Gan went on to become a member of the nine-member Standing Committee of the Politburo, prosecutors wrote in the filing.

Several other Chinese officials also attended, according to the documents.

“The purpose of the banquet is to thank me for being a patriotic overseas Chinese who has made contributions to China,” Liew wrote in a memo to a Chinese company, according to U.S. prosecutors, “and who has provided key technologies with national defense applications, in paint/coating and microwave communications.”

The red spies were after Dupont’s most valuable trade secret: the formula for titanium dioxide pigment used in making white paint.

Liew paid at least two former DuPont engineers for assistance in designing chloride-route titanium dioxide, also known as TiO2, according to the indictment. DuPont is the world’s largest producer of the white pigment used to make a range of white-tinted products, including paper, paint and plastics.

The United States has identified industrial spying as a significant and growing threat to the nation’s prosperity. In a government report released last November, authorities cited China as “the world’s most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage.”

Technology analyst Mark Anderson, who has spoken on Chinese trade policy and spying for years, said he had never seen a member of the Politburo named in an espionage case before. He said the DuPont case was all the more remarkable because the main thrust of the case was economic, not military.

“This is their most valuable trade secret in the world of paint,” he said, noting that the DuPont division in question reported $6 billion in revenue in 2010.

Liew is being held without bail.

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