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A Chinese national and a US citizen have been charged with conspiring to steal sensitive microchip designs capable of use in military technology, justice officials said Wednesday.
The US Attorney's office in northern California said Lee Lan and Ge Yuefei had been indicted on multiple charges of conspiracy to commit economic espionage and to steal trade secrets.
Lee, 42, a US citizen, and Ge, 34, a Chinese national, had sought to steal secrets from their employer, NetLogics Microsystems, and from the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation, a statement said.
In July, FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress that China's espionage operations were a "substantial concern" and Beijing was stealing US secrets to boost its fast developing military and economy.
Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that China's military had hacked into the Pentagon's military computer network -- though the Chinese government denied the report.