On Wednesday, a U.S. citizen and four Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) officials were charged with conspiracy and other offenses linked to espionage.

Wang Shujun, 73, of Queens, New York; Feng He, as known as Boss He, Ming Li as known as Elder Tang and Little Li, are from Guangdong. The other two, Keqing Lu as known as Boss Lu, and Jie Ji, are from Qingdao. The five allegedly participated in an espionage and transnational repression scheme in the United States and abroad.

Since 2011, Wang has been secretly collecting information on prominent dissidents and human rights campaigners on behalf of the MSS and the PRC. The others served as Wang’s right-hand men, providing information for him to go after individuals or groups, including Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigners, Taiwanese independence advocates, and Uyghur and Tibetan activists.

The Eastern District of New York Attorney said that the indictment has exposed and disrupted a PRC operation. This operation has threatened the safety and freedom of Chinese citizens living in U.S. because of their beliefs and speech.

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