FBI Director Issues Strong Warnings About China

Christopher Wray calls it the 'greatest long-term threat' to the US
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2020 1:51 AM CDT
FBI Director Issues Strong Warnings About China
In this Feb. 5, 2020 file photo, FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during an oversight hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The greatest long-term threat to the US? China, according to FBI Director Christopher Wray. In a speech to Washington's Hudson Institute on Tuesday, he said "the stakes could not be higher" when it comes to China and its acts of espionage, cyberattacks, data and monetary theft, and acts of bribery and blackmail to interfere with and influence US policy. China is even trying to compromise US research into COVID-19, he said. "We've now reached a point where the FBI is now opening a new China-related counterintelligence case every 10 hours," he said, per the BBC. "Of the nearly 5,000 active counterintelligence cases currently underway across the country, almost half are related to China." He added, per Fox News, "If you’re an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data."

"China is engaged in a whole-of-state effort to become the world's only superpower by any means necessary," Wray said. He described a program called "Operation Fox Hunt," launched by President Xi Jinping, aimed at getting Chinese nationals who are seen as threats to the Chinese government, but who are currently living abroad, back to their home country. Many targets are US citizens or green card holders, Wray said, per the Guardian. "We're talking about political rivals, dissidents, and critics seeking to expose China's extensive human rights violations," he said. "The Chinese government wants to force them to return to China, and China's tactics to accomplish that are shocking." He even called for any Chinese-born people living in the US to alert the FBI if Chinese officials get in touch with them about returning to China. (Mike Pompeo just warned the US might ban TikTok and other apps out of China.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.