CHINA TECHNOLOGY ESPIONAGE IN THE U.S.

AP reported on January 25, 2011, that a former B-2 stealth bomber engineer was sentenced to 32 years in prison for selling military secrets to China in the latest of several high-profile cases of Chinese espionage in the U.S.

Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway said about the spy Noshir Gowadia:

He broke his oath of loyalty to this country. He was found guilty of marketing valuable technology to foreign countries for personal gain.

Prosecutors said Mr. Gowadia helped China design a stealth cruise missile to get money to pay the $15,000-a-month mortgage on his multimillion dollar home overlooking the ocean on Maui. They say he pocketed at least $110,000 by selling military secrets.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson, the lead prosecutor, had asked Mr. Mollway to sentence Mr. Gowadia to life in prison.

Mr. Sorenson after sentencing said:

We’re confident the message is sent that when you compromise U.S. national security, when you disclose national defense secrets, when you profit by U.S. national defense information, that you will be punished, you will be pursued, you will be convicted

Gowadia was also found guilty of attempting to sell classified stealth technology to the Swiss government and businesses in Israel and Germany.

The case follows other high-profile convictions of people accused of providing secrets to China.

Last March, Chinese-born engineer Dongfan “Greg” Chung was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison after he was convicted of six counts of economic espionage and other federal charges.

A defense contractor engineer, Chi Mak, was sentenced in 2008 to 24 years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to export U.S. defense technology to China.

Mr. Gowadia’s sentencing came just weeks after China conducted a flight test of its new J-20 stealth fighter during a visit to Beijing by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The engineer helped design the propulsion system for the B-2 bomber when he worked at Northrop Corp., now known as Northrop Grumman Corp., between 1968 and 1986.

Comment: The sentencing of Gowadia is of special interest after media reports that China may have stolen U.S. stealth technology from a plane shot down in Serbia in 1999.

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