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Half of nearly 5,000 active FBI counterintelligence cases related to China, says Director Christopher Wray

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Washington D.C. | July 8, 2020 1:41:47 AM IST
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday said that almost half of nearly 5,000 active FBI counterintelligence cases currently underway across the country are related to China.

"We've now reached the point where the FBI is opening a new China-related counterintelligence case about every 10 hours. Of the nearly 5,000 active FBI counterintelligence cases currently underway across the country, almost half are related to China," he said while addressing an event.

"And at this very moment, China is working to compromise American health care organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and academic institutions conducting essential COVID-19 research," said Wray.

The FBI director termed the "counterintelligence and economic espionage threat from China" as the "the greatest long-term threat to our nation's information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality".

"It's a threat to our economic security--and by extension, to our national security," he said.

Wray stated that Chinese theft represent one of the "largest transfers of wealth in human history" and the "people of United States were victims".

"If you are an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data," he said while adding that in 2017.

Wray hit out at Chinese Communist Party saying it believes it is in a "generational fight to surpass our country in economic and technological leadership".

"But it's waging this fight not through legitimate innovation, not through fair and lawful competition, and not by giving their citizens the freedom of thought and speech and creativity that we treasure here in the United States. Instead, China is engaged in a whole-of-state effort to become the world's only superpower by any means necessary," the FBI Director said.

Wray highlighted that China uses a diverse range of sophisticated techniques--"everything from cyber intrusions to corrupting trusted insiders". "They've even engaged in outright physical theft. And they've pioneered an expansive approach to stealing innovation through a wide range of actors--including not just Chinese intelligence services but state-owned enterprises, ostensibly private companies, certain kinds of graduate students and researchers, and a whole variety of other actors working on their behalf," he said.

The FBI Director noted that China is engaged in, what he called, a highly sophisticate "malign foreign influence campaign". "...And its methods include bribery, blackmail, and covert deals. Chinese diplomats also use both open, naked economic pressure and seemingly independent middlemen to push China's preferences on American officials," he said.

He accused China and the ruling Communist Party of "brazenly" violating well settled norms and rule of law.

"Since 2014, Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping has spearheaded a program known as "Fox Hunt." Now, China describes Fox Hunt as some kind of international anti-corruption campaign--it is not. Instead, Fox Hunt is a sweeping bid by General Secretary Xi to target Chinese nationals whom he sees as threats and who live outside China, across the world," he said. (ANI)

 
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