US citizen accused of spying on behalf of Chinese government

US officials say Xuehua Peng delivered classified US national security information to officials in China.

    An American flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem [File: Andy Wong/AP Photo]
    An American flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem [File: Andy Wong/AP Photo]

    US government officials on Monday announced charges accusing an American citizen living in California with acting as a spy for China.

    US Attorney David L Anderson said 56-year-old Xuehua (Edward) Peng is accused of being an illegal foreign agent and delivering classified United States national security information to officials in the People's Republic of China.

    "The conduct charged in this case alleges a combination of age-old spycraft and modern technology," Anderson said. "The charges announced today provide a rare glimpse into the secret efforts of the People's Republic of China to obtain classified national security information from the United States."

    Peng was working as a tour guide in the San Francisco area.

    Anderson said Peng is charged with using secret locations to deliver information, delivering payments, and personally carrying to Beijing secure digital cards containing classified information related to United States national security.

    The complaint says the Hayward, California, resident acted at the direction and under the control of officials in China in retrieving classified information passed to him by a confidential human source from 2015 to 2018.

    Peng was arrested at his home on Friday and was ordered held without bond in a hearing before US Magistrate Judge Joseph C Spero, the US Attorney's office said.

    He is scheduled to return to court on Wednesday.

    SOURCE: News agencies