A physicist in Newport News, Va., pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he illegally exported space launch technical information to the Chinese military and offered bribes to Chinese government officials.
Shu Quan-Sheng, 68, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in China, is president of AMAC International Inc., a high-tech company based in Newport News.
The Justice Department accused him of providing the Chinese government with assistance to design and develop a cryogenic fueling system for space launch vehicles used at China’s heavy payload launch facility in the southern island province of Hainan. The Chinese use the space launch facility to send space stations and satellites into orbit and to support manned space flight.
The facility is overseen by China’s Commission of Science Technology and Industry for the National Defense, according to the criminal complaint.
A Justice Department statement says Shu failed to obtain U.S. export licenses for the cryogenic technology and bribed Chinese government officials “to obtain a contract for the development of a 600 liter per hour liquid hydrogen tank system.”
As a result of the bribes totaling $189,300, “In January 2007, the $4 million hydrogen liquefier project was awarded to the French company that Shu represented,” the Justice Department reported.
Shu pleaded guilty in federal court in Norfolk. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 6.