Washington, Feb 12 : Four people have been arrested in the United States accused of spying for China to acquire trade and state secrets, including details of the Space Shuttle programme.
The Justice Department said that a Boeing engineer was arrested on charges of stealing trade secrets relating to the Shuttle and other aerospace programmes and passing them to Chinese officials.
Dongfan Chung travelled to China many times to give lectures on the Space Shuttle and other programmes.
Dongfan "Greg" Chung, 72, who worked on US defence and space projects for more than 25 years, was arrested by FBI officers and NASA investigators at his home in California.
Chung, a Chinese-born naturalised US citizen, who was indicted last week on charges of espionage, is accused of stealing economic secrets, conspiracy and other offences.
Rockwell International from 1973 employed the engineer until its defence and space unit was acquired by Boeing in 1996 and held a secret security clearance to the Shuttle programme.
He retired from the company in 2002, but in 2003 returned to Boeing as a contractor, a position he held until September 2006.
Chung travelled to China many times over 18 years to deliver lectures on the Space Shuttle and other programmes.
In a separate spying case, officials arrested two Chinese nationals, Tai Shen Kuo, 58, and Yu Xin Kang, 33, in New Orleans, and Gregg Bergersen, 51, an American government weapons systems expert, in Virginia.
They were arrested on espionage charges relating to the passage of classified US government documents and information to China.
US justice officials said the two cases "plainly represent the magnitude of the threat we face". They follow a number of recent spy cases involving China and the United States, the Telegraph reported.