US citizen accused of spying for China appears in court

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California tour operator is appearing in U.S. court on charges of carrying national security documents to officials in China.

Prosecutors say Xuehua Edward Peng participated in anonymous drops where he left money in hotel rooms in exchange for documents on a digital card provided by a person secretly working with the FBI.

Authorities said Peng would take the card and travel to Beijing to meet Chinese intelligence officers.

The 56-year-old Peng was arrested Friday at his Hayward home in the San Francisco Bay Area and ordered held without bond. He returned to court Wednesday.

The criminal complaint says Peng is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

The federal public defender’s office, which is representing him, did not return messages seeking comment.

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