On Sunday, June 21, during an interview on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Features,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr raised some challenges facing national security due to the spying and theft maneuvers of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Barr said that the CCP was stealing “the future of the American people” and also pointed out that Beijing represented a threat to the economic and technological prosperity of the United States; and sent a message of respect for the loyalty to their country of origin to American companies abroad.
“This is a fundamental challenge to the United States. Since the late 19th century, our opportunity and our growth, our prosperity as a country has come from our technological leadership,” Barr said, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“In the last decade or so, China [the CCP] has been putting on a great push to supplant us, explicitly. They want to be the leader in all the future technologies that are going to dominate the economy. And so what’s at stake is the economic opportunity of our children and our grandchildren. Whether we can continue to be the technological leader of the world,” he added.
Such statements by the attorney general come amid increasing tensions between the CCP and the United States, especially after the U.S. government accused the CCP of deliberately mishandling the pandemic, which is impacting the current economic crisis in the United States.
Just a week ago President Trump did not rule out a ‘complete decoupling’ of relations with the CCP even though the first phase of a trade agreement signed last January was guaranteeing the CCP’s purchase of American products.
For Barr, the U.S. business community has also been partly to blame for the economic crisis in the country, noting that there is a willingness on the part of companies to sacrifice the long-term viability of their businesses for short-term gains.
“That’s what’s driving some of this—they’re not taking the long-term view and the national view of maintaining American strength,” he told host Maria Bartiromo.
Barr said the CCP had embarked on an aggressive program of theft and deception in order to overcome U.S. advances.
According to the Washington Examiner, the State Department has also increased its scrutiny of the CCP’s activities inside the country, mentioning cases such as the theft of trade secrets or the Thousand Talents program, under which the CCP intends to co-opt experts in different areas of scientific research.
“Chinese efforts run the gamut from more traditional espionage of recruiting people to work for them, explicitly, to cultivating relationships that then they are able to use, and the people frequently are not completely attune to the fact that they are being used as essentially stooges for the Chinese,” the attorney general warned.
Thus, Barr said the key to combating the threat the CCP poses to the United States was to “protect America’s technological leadership” and “thwart its spying activities,” noting also the importance of pressuring the CCP to “play by the rules” on the international stage.
So far, both in the House and the Senate, bills have been promoted that aim at defending the United States from CCP influence in different areas such as research on university campuses and the rejection of economic theft.
“We are clearly cracking down on researchers and others that are sent over here to get involved in our key technological programs,” Barr said. “And by the way, this is not just weapon systems. This is agriculture. This is medicine. This is robotics. This is artificial intelligence, and so forth. It’s the whole gamut of important technologies going forward,” he added.
As for the dangers of possible espionage theft through 5G technology, which is being promoted by Chinese technology giant Huawei, Barr said, “I would say that there is certainly the capacity to do that, and there is a very high risk of that.