Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says China's New York consulate is a major spy hub after a New York police officer was accused this week of spying for the Chinese government.
Pompeo told the New York Post on Thursday that the Trump administration was keeping an eye on Chinese diplomats in the United States and further arrests may take place.
"They are involved in activities where they cross the line between normal diplomacy and things that are more akin to what spies do," Pompeo said.
“Remember, we not only have Chinese consulates here, but also a UN body.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says China's New York consulate is a major spy hub after a New York police officer was accused this week of spying for the Chinese government
"So when we talk about New York, we not only have the Chinese consulate in New York – that is the bilateral consulate – but also a large contingent of Chinese diplomats for the work of the United Nations."
His comments came just days after NYPD officer Baimadajie Angwang, a US naturalized citizen of Tibet, was accused of being an "intelligence asset" for the Chinese government.
His comments came just days after NYPD officer Baimadajie Angwang, a US naturalized citizen of Tibet, was accused of being an "intelligence asset" for the Chinese government
Angwang is said to have agreed to spy on U.S. supporters of the Tibetan independence movement as agents of China since 2018 in order to suppress the movement. This emerges from a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn on Monday.
It is said that he secretly worked for anonymous employees at the Chinese consulate in New York.
China has said the allegations are "pure invention".
When asked if there were other cases like the one involving Angwang, Pompeo told the Post: "Absolutely."
"As you have seen, not only have the NYPD official followed several cases from the Department of Justice over the past week, and we are confident that they will pursue this, and I would expect that to follow," he said .
There was no claim that Angwang compromised national security or the operations of the New York Police Department.
Pompeo said the Trump administration was keeping an eye on Chinese diplomats in the United States and there could be more arrests. The Chinese consulate in New York is pictured above
Angwang raised suspicions of his alleged illegal activity at a party that Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attended in February 2019
According to a criminal complaint, Angwang (pictured) has been secretly monitored by employees of the Chinese consulate in New York since at least 2014
Even so, it was considered the "definition of an inside threat," said William Sweeney, director of the New York FBI office.
According to court records, Angwang's job as a spy for China was to "locate potential intelligence sources" and "identify potential threats to (People's Republic of China) in metropolitan New York."
He was also expected to give consular officials access to senior NYPD officials through invitations to official NYPD events, ”they add.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the indictment against Angwang was full of safeguard terms such as "appear" and "possibly", which made it appear that prosecutors were trying to defend their case.
Angwang has been suspended from the NYPD's 111th Ward in Queens. The 33-year-old also serves in the US Army Reserve, where he holds the rank of sergeant major. He is based in Fort Dix, New Jersey, in a civil affairs battalion in the air.
Angwang raised suspicions of his alleged illegal activity at a party that Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attended in February 2019.
A photo shared by Ocasio-Cortez at the time shows her next to Angwang and a woman holding a child at a table in a community center in Woodside, Queens.
& # 39; Losar Tashi Delek! We spent NY-14 with our Tibetan community this morning to celebrate the lunar new year, ”the congresswoman wrote.
“This little one and I played with giving each other Tibetan white scarves or khatas, which are auspicious signs given to honor others on holidays and special occasions. We had so much fun! & # 39;
It is not clear what triggered the suspicion.
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