updated 3/31/2008 6:10:00 PM ET 2008-03-31T22:10:00

A Defense Department analyst pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he gave classified information about U.S. and Taiwanese military communications systems to a businessman working with the Chinese government.

Gregg Bergersen, a weapons analyst at the Defense Security Cooperation Agency who held top secret security clearances, was arrested last month. Prosecutors alleged he divulged military secrets to a New Orleans furniture salesman, Tai Kuo, who turned over the information to the Chinese government.

Bergersen, 51, of Alexandria, pleaded guilty Monday to a single count of conspiring to communicate national defense information to a person not entitled to receive it. He faces up to 10 years in prison when sentenced June 20.

The government says Bergersen received thousands of dollars in cash from Kuo since March 2007. It said Bergersen thought Kuo was closely affiliated with the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, and was unaware that Kuo also maintained contact with an official of the Beijing government.

Some of the weapons information passed between Bergersen and Kuo related to Taiwan's new air defense system. Taiwanese military officials have said the disclosures caused some damage but did not compromise key technology.

Kuo and a third defendant, Chinese national Yu Xin Kang, 33, face more serious charges that carry a possible life sentence. Both are in jail awaiting trial.

Kuo, 58, is a naturalized U.S. citizen and a native of Taiwan. He is a son-in-law of Xue Yue, a Chinese nationalist general who was a close associate of Chiang Kai-shek, leader of Nationalist forces that lost the Chinese civil war to Mao Zedong's Communists on the mainland.

Prosecutors allege that Kang, 33, served as the go-between for Kuo and the People's Republic of China.

The Chinese government has called the espionage accusations groundless and accused the U.S. of "Cold War thinking."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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