The FBI's deputy director, David Bowdich, said that almost every one of the agency's 56 field offices "has investigations into economic espionage that lead back to the country of China". In its accusation, the Department guarantees that China's Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. what's more, Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp.
"International trade has been good for China, but the cheating must stop".
Sessions touted the Trump administration's stepped-up prosecution of Chinese espionage cases after a hiatus in such prosecutions during the final years of the Obama administration.
But it's this Chinese government's interference to protect its investments as part of its Made in China 2025 economic plan that got United States authorities to act, first through an export ban, and now through today's charges.
"Chinese economic espionage against the United States has been increasing - and it has been increasing rapidly", he said.
"The reciprocal trading system that has existed between the USA and China can endure only on the basis of mutual respect for the rule of law, including fair trials and the enforcement of property rights".
Memory chip parts of US memory chip maker Micron Technology are pictured at their booth at an industrial fair in Frankfurt in 2015. "This is a brazen scheme", Sessions said.
"Obviously, that commitment has not been kept".
"Today, we see Chinese espionage not just taking place against traditional targets like our defense and intelligence agencies, but against targets like research labs and universities, and we see Chinese propaganda disseminated on our campuses, he said". The effort could lead the department to make recommendations to Congress for legislation to address the threat, he added. Micron issued a statement, saying it appreciated the decision to prosecute the theft of its intellectual property. The trade secrets stolen from Micron are worth up to $8.75 billion, according to Sessions.
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In a tweet Thursday, Trump said he had spoken with China President Xi Jinping.
Chen is said to have recruited former colleagues, including defendant He Jianting, or J.T. Ho, a Taiwanese national, who before leaving Micron allegedly stole confidential DRAM materials, US officials say.
Prior to the events described in the indictment, the PRC did not possess DRAM technology, and the Central Government and State Council of the PRC publicly identified the development of DRAM and other microelectronics technology as a national economic priority.
He became the president of a Taiwanese branch under Micron, resigned in 2015 and brought trade secrets over to UMC and Fujian Jinhua, prosecutors said.
While working at UMC Chen allegedly arranged a cooperation agreement with a Chinese state-owned business, Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company, to transfer DRAM technology for Fujian Jinhua to mass produce.
US President Donald Trump has cited China's alleged theft of US technological know-how among a litany of grievances in his trade war with the Asian power. Micron had previously filed a civil suit in California against both UMC and Fujian Jinhua, accusing the two of the same thing -stealing intellectual property.
In the past two months the Justice Department has also indicted 12 Chinese, including three intelligence officials, in an alleged five-year plot to steal jet engine technology from major USA and French companies who supply the world's airlines.
Every individual will face a US$5 million fine and up to 15 years in jail if convicted for economic espionage charges, and 10 years imprisonment for theft of trade secrets charges, according to the indictment.