The Financial Times on Wednesday reported that the Pentagon is compiling a list of companies with links to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) or Chinese intelligence services in order to protect U.S. military secrets and secure America’s supply of military equipment.
A new film by former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is sounding the alarm over China's encroachment into the high-tech industry. Slated for release in September, Claws of the Red Dragon spotlights the relationship between telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and People's Liberation Army (PLA).
Espionage and counterespionage have been essential tools of statecraft for centuries, of course, and U.S. and Chinese intelligence agencies have been battling one another for decades. But what these recent cases suggest is that the intelligence war is escalating--that China has increased both the scope and the sophistication of its efforts to steal secrets from the U.S.
For a period of time, the overseas communist empire had been America’s geopolitical partner. Yet then a string of incidents suggested that maybe the partnership wasn’t so friendly after all; numerous spies were discovered in our midst, responsible for stealing some of America’s most precious strategic secrets. Moreover, a string of American witnesses came forward to offer firsthand accounts of espionage penetrations, and the dangers they posed.
Former University of California professor Yi-Chi Shih has been found guilty on 18 federal charges for funneling American military technology to China. The 64-year-old electrical engineer has been found guilty of handing stolen U.S. military technology to the Chinese government. Now he faces several lifetimes’ worth of time in a federal prison. Shih’s co-defendant, Kiet Ahn Mai, already pleaded guilty to smuggling charges in December 2018.
When most Americans think of espionage, we think of debonair foreign spies sneaking around military compounds--or bespectacled hackers hammering away at keyboards to steal top-secret information from foreign adversaries. But there is an entire world of espionage happening right under our noses--at American colleges and universities.
America was late to the game--and is now paying the price because China, the world’s second largest and powerful economy behind the U.S., was able to take advantage by stealing secrets from some of the nation’s most critical businesses, including the U.S. government. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is worried that the communist-led country has stolen defense secrets and used them to technologically advance their own defense systems, in both capacity and intent.
U.S. authorities were sitting on a sensitive secret last fall when Canada detained a top Huawei Technologies Co. executive on alleged U.S. sanctions violations. Two months earlier, the U.S. had arrested another Chinese national on similar suspicions and was holding her at a grim jail in Washington, D.C. An employee of an unidentified Chinese technology company, she had been nabbed on vacation in California.
A new Pentagon report said that China uses "cyber theft" and other methods to bolster its military, which the report claims will continue to grow rapidly. "China uses a variety of methods to acquire foreign military and dual-use technologies, including targeted foreign direct investment, cyber theft, and exploitation of private Chinese nationals' access to these technologies, as well as harnessing its intelligence services, computer intrusions, and other illicit approaches," it said.
The FBI’s director said that the U.S.’s biggest threat is China’s “Whole-of-society Approach” to stealing American innovation. Speaking at the Council of Foreign Relations on Friday, April 26, Christopher Wray said, “Put plainly, China seems determined to steal its way up the economic ladder, at our expense.”