U.S. Justice Department Briefing: Chinese Citizen Qin Shurian Admits to Procuring and Exporting Sensitive Products and Technologies for the Chinese Military

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday (April 28) that Chinese citizen Qin Shuren pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston to engaging in illegal transactions to procure products subject to U.S. export controls and exporting $100,000 worth of products to Northwestern Polytechnical University, a Chinese military university.

Northwestern Polytechnic University was placed on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Security Risk Agency List in 2001 for its involvement in a Chinese military research project to enhance the warfighting capabilities of the Chinese military. Under U.S. law, all exports to listed entities must be authorized by the Commerce Department.

Court documents show that Shuren Qin, 44, has a U.S. green card and resides in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He entered the United States in 2014 on an immigrant investor visa and started LinkOcean Technologies, through which he exported equipment and technology from the United States, Canada and Europe to China for detecting underwater sound signals, naval anti-submarine warfare and underwater weaponry. The company’s customers include Chinese research institutions and the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s operational arm.

Qin Shuren pleaded guilty to several counts: one count of illegally exporting U.S. products to China’s Northwestern Polytechnic University without U.S. government permission; one count of visa fraud; two counts of making false statements to law enforcement agencies about Chinese customers and the types of products exported; four counts of money laundering; and two counts of smuggling hydrophones into China, the DOJ release said.

John C. Demers, the Justice Department’s assistant secretary for national security, said Qin Shurian used the open market in the United States to procure sensitive technology for a Chinese military university. The press release quoted Demers as saying, “In addition to that, he lied about filling out visa applications and lied to U.S. Customs officials.”

DeMers noted that if individuals break the law for profit at the expense of the U.S. national interest, the U.S. Department of Justice will put a stop to such behavior and punish those involved.

Nathaniel R. Mendell, acting U.S. attorney for the Massachusetts District of the U.S. Department of Justice, said, “The People’s Republic of China has an insatiable appetite for our nation’s most sensitive products and technologies, particularly for military applications.”

The press release quotes Mendell as saying, “Mr. Qin’s export of critical anti-submarine warfare products to a Chinese military university poses a threat to our national security. There is no question that this must be prosecuted by the federal government.”