Records of NYPD cop accused of spying for China shed light on his Marine Corps, Army service

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Service records first obtained by the Military Times shed additional light on the military service of Baimadajie Angwang, a New York City police officer and Army reservist charged Monday with spying on Tibetan independence activists on behalf of the Chinese government.

The naturalized U.S. citizen from Tibet worked since 2018 as an agent for the People’s Republic of China in its effort to suppress the movement, according to a criminal complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court. The complaint alleges that he secretly worked for unnamed handlers from New York’s Chinese consulate, according to The Associated Press.

Records obtained from the U.S. Army Reserve and the U.S. Marine Corps show that Angwang first entered the U.S. military through the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program in April 2009, according to his Marine Corps service records.

He began his active duty Marine Corps service as a individual material readiness list manager 6042 in October of that year. Marines in that occupational specialty manage asset and maintenance inventories for Marine Corps aircraft and helicopters.

Angwang finished his active-duty Marine Corps service assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 165, which is part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, near San Diego. He joined VMM-165 on its deployment to Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from July 2013 to February 2014. He reached the rank of sergeant during the deployment, earning the rank on October 1, 2013, according to his Marine Corps service records.

Angwang received an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in April 2014 after returning from Afghanistan. He spent a short period in the Marine Corps Reserve before enlisting in the Army Reserve in July of 2014. The Justice Department criminal complaint against Angwang states that he began communicating with Chinese government officials in August of the same year.

Since joining the Army Reserve, Angwang has not deployed overseas, according to his Army service records.

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He is a civil affairs specialist 38B assigned to the Fort Dix, New Jersey-based B Company, 404th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), which is part of United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command. Soldiers in Angwang’s career field specialize in coordinating support and resources for civilians affected by conflict or crisis.

He currently holds the rank of staff sergeant, as well as a secret-level security clearance.

One of the charges against Angwang was that he failed to disclose his communications with Chinese government officials and his family’s ties to the Chinese government on his security clearance application in 2019.

According to a letter filed by DOJ attorneys on Monday asking a judge to deny bail, Angwang’s father is a retired member of the People’s Liberation Army, his brother is a current reservist in the PLA, and his mother is a retired government official.

Angwang’s awards and decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with star), the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan, the Expert Rifle Qualification Badge, and the Sharpshooter Pistol Qualification Badge.

About

Davis Winkie is a reporting intern at the Military Times. His writing has appeared in The New Republic, Task & Purpose, VICE, and others. He previously worked as a military historian, and he is a human resources officer in the Army National Guard.

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