A Chinese aerospace contractor working at a NASA facility in Virginia made a first appearance in federal court Monday, as he was being labeled by a U.S. lawmaker as “a Chinese spy”.
Chinese citizen Bo Jiang, worked for the contractor at NASA-Langley, was arrested Saturday at Dulles Airport near Washington as he was boarding a flight to Beijing. He was taken to court in Norfolk, Virginia afternoon, and is being held in jail pending further court proceedings.
Bo Jiang has been initially charged with making false statements to U.S. authorities by failing to disclose all of the electronic devices he was carrying with him on a one-way flight to Beijing.
Congressman Frank Wolf, R-Virginia, who had recently pressed for an investigation of NASA security, said Jiang had hastily arranged a flight home after Wolf had gone public with his concern about security at NASA.
Wolf oversees appropriations for several agencies including NASA . He told reporters Monday that he believes Jiang had access to highly sensitive documents including source codes for high-tech imaging used in missiles, unmanned aerospace equipment and other technology desired by the Chinese government.
“Here you have taxpayer money given to NASA. They then give it to a Chinese spy who is stealing technology that had national security implications,” Wolf said.
While Wolf believes Jiang was engaged in spying, he said, “We’ll know for sure after they (the FBI) examine his hard drive.”
The veteran lawmaker blasted NASA. “How do they understand that American hardworking taxpayers who give money to the government to subsidize China to spy against us? Do they think we’re dumb?” Wolf asked.
On March 7th, Wolf held a news conference to disclose his fears about NASA security, and said he had gotten most of his information from whistleblowers at the agency.
During a hearing last week the NASA Inspector General told Wolf he believes there are nearly 200 Chinese nationals working in or with NASA laboratories.
This Wednesday Wolf is calling the head of NASA to testify on security. Wolf said he has support from Democrats and Republicans alike on his investigation.