The Chinese government on Monday slammed the conviction of a Chinese citizen for stealing trade secrets from U.S. aviation and aerospace companies, according to Reuters.
"The allegation is pure fabrication," Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told reporters in Beijing. "We demand that the U.S. handle the case according to the law and in a just manner to ensure the rights and interests of the Chinese citizen."
A federal jury found Chinese national Xu Yanjun guilty of two counts of conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage, as well as one count of conspiracy to commit trade secret theft and two counts of attempted theft of trade secrets, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Friday.
Xu faces 60 years in prison and fines amounting to over $1 million.
He was one of 11 Chinese nationals named in 2018 indictments related to a years-long scheme to steal technology from GE Aviation and France's Safran Group, according to Al Jazeera, which noted Xu is the only one who has been arrested.
Xu was arrested in Belgium in April 2018 and extradited to the U.S. in October of that year, the news outlet reported.
“Xu attempted to steal technology related to GE Aviation’s exclusive composite aircraft engine fan, which no other company in the world has been able to duplicate, to benefit the Chinese state,” the Justice Department said in a statement.
Xu faces allegations of creating aliases in order to commit economic espionage dating as far back as 2013, Reuters reported.