SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) – U.S. government officials on Monday announced charges accusing an American citizen living in California with acting as a spy for China.

U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson said 56-year-old Xuehua (Edward) Peng is accused of being an illegal foreign agent and delivering classified United States national security information to officials in the People’s Republic of China.

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“The conduct charged in this case alleges a combination of age-old spycraft and modern technology,” Anderson said. “The charges announced today provide a rare glimpse into the secret efforts of the People’s Republic of China to obtain classified national security information from the United States.”

Anderson said Peng is charged with using secret locations to deliver information, delivering payments, and personally carrying to Beijing secure digital cards containing classified information related to U.S. national security.

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“According to the allegations, Peng conducted numerous dead drops here in the United States on behalf of Chinese intelligence officers and delivered classified information to them in China. His arrest exposes and disrupts an operation by those Chinese intelligence officers to collect such information without having to step foot in this country,” said Assistant Attorney General of National Security John C. Demers. “Coming on top of our many recent Chinese espionage cases—involving both national defense and intellectual property information—this case illustrates the seriousness of Chinese espionage efforts and the determination of the United States to thwart them.”

The complaint says the Hayward, California, resident acted at the direction and under the control of officials in China in retrieving classified information passed to him by a confidential human source from 2015 to 2018.

Peng was arrested at his home on Friday and was ordered held without bond in a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. He is scheduled to return to court Wednesday.

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