F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Retired Boeing Engineer steals classified F-16 info for China

August 21, 2003 (by Stefaan Vanhastel) - Boeing engineer accused of stealing classified F-16 information from the U.S. government has been arrested in Taiwan.

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Howard Hsu, 57, is accused of spying for the People's Republic of China by hacking into a U.S. government Web site and stealing classified information on the F- 16 Fighting Falcon's night-combat systems, as well as on the command and control-data links.

The sensitive information is of great interest to the People's Republic of China, since Taiwan (the Republic of China) has at least 150 F-16s and relations between the two countries are tense.

Hsu, also known as Hsu Hsi-tse, was arrested Aug. 5 after arriving at Chiang Kai-shek International Airport on a flight from Los Angeles. He and two others were being held on charges of espionage and treason. Agents of Taiwan's Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau also arrested Yeh Yu-chen, a technician for a Taiwanese military technology center, and Chen Shih- liang, a chief executive officer of a technology company. Yeh is accused of forging documents for Hsu that allowed him to buy high-tech, night-vision equipment in the United States. The items arrived first in Taiwan, but were taken to China by Chen, the news agency said.

Agents maintain that Chen collected classified information about Taiwanese military research on theater missile defense and anti-submarine warfare, which Yeh then passed on to China. The three men are believed to have been selling military secrets to China for a decade. The charges against the men carry a maximum penalty of 17 years.