FBI Director Christopher A. Wray warned that espionage and information theft by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is “the greatest long-term threat” to the United States.
In a major policy speech on Tuesday, July 7, the head of the criminal investigation agency said such crimes are carried out by Chinese intelligence agents and diplomats through bribery, blackmail, and undercover influence operations.
“The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information, intellectual property, and to our economic vitality is the counterintelligence and economic espionage threat from China,” Wray said at a symposium organized by the Hudson Institute a Washington-based think tank.
The FBI chief said the operations are part of Beijing’s large-scale intelligence efforts to recruit spies and steal information.
The official said Chinese operations range from traditional spying—recruiting agents within the government—to cyber-attacks and data theft to obtain cutting-edge U.S. technology.
During his speech, he described Beijing’s increasing efforts to appropriate U.S. technology secrets. “In 10 years, there has been an increase in cases of economic espionage involving China,” he said, referring to “one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history.”
Wray’s powerful speech is part of the Trump Administration’s efforts to raise awareness of the dangers and threats posed by the CCP.
As for the intensity of these operations of subversion and “evil” influence on the American government, the FBI’s head left no doubt that they are carried out “24/7, 365 days a year”.
Such is the spying activity of the CCP that, Gray revealed, the FBI is currently opening a counter-espionage investigation involving the Chinese regime every 10 hours.
“Right now, China is working to compromise … the American investigation into COVID-19,” he said.
The Trump Administration has been very critical of the CCP in recent months, accusing Beijing of hiding the extent of the CCP Virus’s spread after it appeared in the center of the country in late 2019.
In that context, Wray pointed out that these spying threats are not directly linked to the upcoming November elections. Republican President Donald Trump is running against Democrat Joe Biden, seeking a new mandate from the people.
Wray adds those pressures are “all year round, all the time.”
However, he said, “they really do have (electoral) preferences,” although he added nothing else.