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Chinese man pleads guilty to photographing Navy base

KEY WEST, Fla. — A Chinese man has pleaded guilty to taking photographs of a U.S. Navy base in the Florida Keys.

The Miami Herald reports Lyuyou Liao, 27, appeared in U.S. District Court in Key West two months after he was arrested using a cellphone to take photos in a restricted area of the Naval Air Station known as the Truman Annex.

Liao was arrested and charged with entering Naval property for the purpose of photographing defense installations.

On Friday, Liao pleaded guilty to one count of photographing or sketching defense installations. He now faces up to one year in prison.

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Beijing has criticized what it calls U.S. interference in the Asia-Pacific region and insists it has sovereignty over virtually the entire South China Sea based on historical rights.

Liao’s arrest on Dec. 26 is similar to the cases of three other Chinese nationals who were also caught taking photos at the Key West base.

Two Chinese nationals were arrested in early January after they were told by a security officer they could not enter the property without military identification but still drove onto the station to take pictures of structures.

Another Chinese man pleaded guilty last year to illegally taking photographs at the same Florida Keys installation. Zhao Qianli, 20, was sentenced to a year in federal prison.

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