Chinese professor accused of spying by US released on bail

A Chinese professor charged in the United States with economic espionage has been released on bail, US court records show, and his family said he was confident of clearing his name.

Beijing: A Chinese professor charged in the United States with economic espionage has been released on bail, US court records show, and his family said he was confident of clearing his name.

Zhang Hao was one of six Chinese nationals charged by the US government in May with economic espionage. US authorities said they stole secrets from two companies that develop technology often used in military systems.

China`s Foreign Ministry said in May that it was strongly concerned about the accusations.

US Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins in San Jose, California on Tuesday ordered Zhang`s release on a $500,000 bond, with the expectation that the professor will not be deported until his criminal case is over, court records show.

An employee from Tianjin University`s press department confirmed Zhang`s release on bail.

"He`s still in America and is staying with his relatives," the employee, surnamed Li, said by telephone. "As for the charges, he will definitely still have to go through the judicial process."

In a statement sent by one of his lawyers, Yitai Hu, to Reuters on Friday, his lawyers said Zhang and his family "are grateful for his release".

"He looks forward to his day in court and is confident that once the facts are revealed, he will be exonerated."

Zhang was not immediately available for comment. China`s Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services did not answer calls for comment outside of normal business hours.

Zhang`s release could ease some tensions between the United States and China when President Xi Jinping travels to Washington in September.

US authorities have repeatedly made accusations of economic espionage conducted on behalf of China, a sign that the United States is increasingly focused on what it has termed a top national security concern.

Beijing has in the past expressed outrage over US government accusations that China engages in state-sponsored theft of commercial information, saying the Asian nation is itself a victim of hacking attacks.

Zhang was arrested at Los Angeles International airport on May 16 as he entered the United States on the way to a conference.

In June, Zhang`s wife, Fan Liping, wrote that her husband was innocent.

US prosecutors have accused Zhang and his partners of stealing source code and designs from Avago Technologies and Skyworks Solutions, and passing them on to Chinese universities and companies.