Federal agents reportedly detained a citizen of the United States on Tuesday on suspicion of working with Chinese Communist Party officials to exchange intelligence on political dissidents in Boston, Massachusetts, between 2018 and 2022.
According to court records cited by the Boston Globe, Litang Liang has been charged by a grand jury for operating as an agent of a foreign government without informing the U.S. attorney general.
Liang, 63, is accused of spending four years eavesdropping on the Chinese communities in the Boston area by providing lists of names and photographs to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Liang is also accused of trying to organize protests in favor of Taiwan’s reunification with mainland China and counter-protests against pro-democracy dissidents.
According to the affidavit, Liang is accused of spying on local Chinese family associations in New England and New York, inquiring about local lawyers’ political standing in order to put them on a blacklist, and reporting students who desecrated PRC flags to Chinese authorities.
According to court papers, Liang has also been charged with working with the United Front Work Department, a CCP body that allegedly targets corporations, universities, research centers, social groups, and individuals in order to achieve China’s objectives.
A protest against the proposed bill that would have permitted extraditions to mainland China was organized in 2019 by Frances Hui, policy and advocacy coordinator for the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation.