WASHINGTON (Reuters): Two U.S. Navy sailors have been arrested on charges of handing over sensitive national security material to China, U.S. officials said Thursday.
The two active-duty members of the Navy have been charged with passing the secrets to Beijing, Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen told reporters at a press conference in San Diego.
Because of their actions, “sensitive military info ended up in the hands of the People’s Republic of China,” Olsen said.
U.S.-China relations have been tense for years over a range of national security and trade issues. The United States has accused China of espionage and cyberattacks, a charge that Beijing has rejected. China has also declared that it is under threat from spies.
Among the other sore points in U.S.-China ties are U.S. export bans on advanced technologies, China’s state-led industrial policies, human rights issues, the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, trade tariffs and Taiwan.