China Spy Case: Chi Mak

March 23, 2007 at 2:46 pm | Posted in China, 科技, 美国, 美國, 軍事, Military, News, Politics, Technology, United States, 军事, 政治, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國 | Leave a comment

chinesespy

Josh Gerstein in San Francisco, Mar. 23 2007 The New York Sun

A senior engineer for a company with numerous American Navy contracts, Chi Mak, 66, is charged with attempting to smuggle designs for quiet submarines to China and with acting as an unregistered agent of China in America. Four other members of Mr. Mak’s family face similar charges and are expected to be tried separately at a later date.

The alleged ring was broken up in 2005 when agents intercepted two of the family members at Los Angeles airport preparing to board a flight to Hong Kong. According to the government, hidden in their carry-on bag, in a package of CDs for learning English, was a disk containing sensitive, encrypted data on quiet propulsion systems for submarines.

Mr. Mak, a naturalized American citizen born in China, has pleaded not guilty. “My client’s character is absolutely unblemished,” a defense attorney, Ronald Kaye, said.

A spokesman for the Office of the Counterintelligence Executive, Ross Feinstein, said China is considered one to have one of the world’s most active espionage programs, along with Russia, Iran, and Cuba. “China is at the top of our concerns,” Mr. Feinstein said…

Jurors are expected to see excerpts from audio and video surveillance of the suspects, including a camera placed over Mr. Mak’s dining room table. After a defense request, the government has agreed not to play for jurors certain inflammatory statements Mr. Mak allegedly made on the tapes, including claims that America brought terrorist strikes on itself and that North Korea has the right to develop nuclear weapons.

Jurors are expected to see excerpts from audio and video surveillance of the suspects, including a camera placed over Mr. Mak’s dining room table. After a defense request, the government has agreed not to play for jurors certain inflammatory statements Mr. Mak allegedly made on the tapes, including claims that America brought terrorist strikes on itself and that North Korea has the right to develop nuclear weapons. Judge Carney has ruled that jurors may hear that, decades ago, Mr. Mak recorded the comings and goings of American warships in Hong Kong harbor in a logbook he kept. Jurors also may hear about torn-up notes allegedly found in Mr. Mak’s home that prosecutors contend are a Chinese government shopping list for information on missile defense, artillery, and torpedo systems. The prosecution also may play a recording suggesting that Mr. Mak was part of “the red flower of North America,” a term prosecutors claim is code for a Chinese intelligence operation…

Chi Mak’s attitude towards the U.S. isn’t all that surprising. After all, he’s only a first generation immigrant. Imagine moving to a new country, hoping for a fulfilling life and living the American dream, but end up being stuck in middle management for most of one’s career and then blaming it on the corporate “glass ceiling.” I’m not sure if Mr. Mak fits this profile exactly if at all but those Chinese-Americans who do fall into this category often become rather bitter, especially when they compare their lives with those of their friends and family who stayed behind and prospered. Such individuals would be easy targets for recruitment by Chinese intelligence agencies. However, their motivation would be to prove their worthiness and bring meaning back to their lives rather than true patriotism.

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