Chinese Execs Plead to Attempting to Export Military-Grade Microchips

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    Two Chinese aerospace executives have pleaded guilty in U.S. court to attempting to violate the U.S. arms embargo against China by purchasing thousands of military-grade microchips.

    U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil MacBride said the guilty pleas Wednesday from Hong Wei Xian and Li Li represent the latest in a series of prosecutions targeting both traditional espionage and economic espionage efforts from Beijing.

    Xian And Li were targets of an undercover operation after an unidentified Virginia company tipped off authorities that a Chinese firm, Beijing Starcreates, was trying to buy radiation-hardened microchips that work in outer space and are typically used in military systems.

    In their plea, Xian and Li admitted trying to use a straw buyer to purchase the chips.