A Singaporean pleaded guilty on Friday for using his US political advice as a front to gather information for Chinese intelligence, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Jun Wei Yeo, also known as Dickson Yeo, brought an illegal action as a foreign agent before a federal court in Washington.
In the plea, Yeo admitted to working for Chinese intelligence between 2015 and 2019 "to identify and assess Americans with access to valuable non-public information, including US military and government officials with high-level security screening."
It was said that Yeo paid some of these people to write reports that were supposedly intended for its customers in Asia but were instead sent to the Chinese government.
The confession was announced days after the United States directed China to close its Houston consulate and was described as a hub for espionage and operations to steal US technology and intellectual property.
The United States has also arrested four Chinese academics in recent weeks, accusing them of lying on visa applications about their ties to the People's Liberation Army.
In a "factual statement" submitted to the court and signed by Yeo, he admitted that he was fully aware that he worked for Chinese intelligence, met dozens of agents, and received special treatment on his trip to China.
The announcement was made five weeks after an charges against Yeo were lifted and cryptically accused him of illegally acting as an agent of an unspecified foreign government.
He was arrested after flying to the United States in November 2019.
Yeo was recruited by the Chinese Secret Service as an academic at the National University of Singapore.
He had researched and written about China's "Belt and Road" initiative to expand its global trade networks.
According to his LinkedIn page, he worked as a political risk analyst focusing on China and the ASEAN countries, saying he had "connected North America to Beijing, Tokyo and Southeast Asia".
In the United States, Yeo was instructed by the Chinese secret service to open counterfeit advice and offer jobs.
He received more than 400 resumes, 90 percent of which were from U.S. military or government personnel with security clearance.
Yeo gave his Chinese traders the resumes that court documents found interesting.
He said he had recruited a number of people to work with and targeted those who had admitted financial difficulties.
These included a civilian who worked on the Air Force stealth fighter-bomber project F-35B, a Pentagon Army officer with Afghanistan experience, and a State Department official, all of whom received up to $ 2,000 to write reports for Yeo.
Yeo "used career networking sites and a bogus consulting firm to lure Americans who might be of interest to the Chinese government," deputy attorney general John Demers said in a statement.
"This is another example of the Chinese government's exploitation of American society's openness," he said.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)