US naval officer jailed for passing sensitive information to China | Pro Hub of News

US naval officer Wenheng Zhao has pleaded guilty to transmitting sensitive information and blueprints to Chinese intelligence and has been sentenced to 27 months in jail. Zhao, a petty officer stationed at the Ventura County naval base in California, admitted to passing military information, including operational instructions, electrical diagrams, and blueprints for the radar system at the US military base in Okinawa, Japan, from 2021 to 2023.

In exchange for these classified details, Zhao accepted bribes totaling nearly $14,886 between August 2021 and May 2023, according to US government sources. The significance of the US Navy’s base in Okinawa to its operations in Asia underscores the gravity of the breach. The US has prioritized the “Indo-Pacific” region for security and has strengthened alliances there to counter China’s considerable military capabilities.

Zhao, originally from China and now a naturalized US citizen, immigrated to the US in 2009, gained citizenship in 2012, and joined the Navy five years later. He was arrested in California last August and pleaded guilty to the espionage charges in October.

While Zhao’s actions were confirmed, China’s embassy in Washington denied the allegations on Monday, stating ignorance of the details of Zhao’s case. The embassy accused the US government and media of sensationalizing espionage cases, asserting that many were based on unproven allegations.