Criminal Justice

Congressional candidate, lawyer are among those allegedly harassed in US by agents acting for China

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Five people have been charged with alleged efforts to stalk, harass and spy on Chinese nationals living in the United States.

The five defendants are accused of acting at the direction of China’s secret police, according to a U.S. Department of Justice March 16 press release.

CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Washington Post and CNBC have stories.

According to the news reports, the people allegedly targeted include:

• An unnamed congressional candidate who appears to be Xiong Yan, who is seeking to represent Long Island, New York, in the U.S. House of Representatives. Yan had been a student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

• Arthur Liu, a lawyer and political activist who is the father of Olympic figure skater Alysa Liu. Liu had helped organize pro-democracy demonstrations in China.

• An artist living in Los Angeles who was critical of the Chinese government.

Three of the defendants have been arrested. They are Fan “Frank” Liu, 62, of Long Island, New York; Matthew Ziburis, 49, of Oyster Bay New York; and Shujun Wang, 73, of Queens, New York. Two other defendants remain at large. They are Qiang “Jason” Sun and Qiming Lin, both from China.

Lin allegedly hired a private investigator to disrupt Yan’s congressional campaign by unearthing or manufacturing damaging information.

Allegedly acting under Sun’s direction, Liu and Ziburis allegedly spied on pro-democracy Chinese dissidents in the United States and spread negative information about them. The three defendants allegedly plotted to destroy the artist’s artwork and planted surveillance equipment in his workplace and car.

The artist’s sculpture depicting Chinese President Xi Jinping as a coronavirus molecule was demolished in spring 2021.

Wang allegedly used his influence within Chinese diaspora community in New York City to collect information about prominent activists, dissidents and human rights leaders.

Two of the criminal complaints are here and here.

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