The arrest of a Chinese intelligence official in Belgium this week on espionage charges and subsequent extradition to the United States has raised the already fraught tensions between the U.S. and China. The suspect stands accused of stealing intellectual property from U.S. aviation firms. But that is not the only sector that has seen significant intellectual property theft by the Chinese. In late 2013 federal authorities rounded up a ring of Chinese nationals accused of stealing seed that held the trade secrets of American agricultural companies.
The ringleader pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison for the theft.
The farm angle to the story seemed to come straight out of a spy novel, with spies taking daring risks to dig seed from Iowa research fields and ship the samples back to China.
Revisit the action, and the subsequent impact on trade relations with China, in AgWeb's series of coverage on Seeds of Deceit.