White House Says China Guilty of ‘Massive’ Intellectual Property Theft, FBI Vows Crackdown
WASHINGTON – National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien told a gathering of world ambassadors this week that China has engaged in a “massive theft” of Intellectual property from the U.S., complicating diplomatic relations and making events like the recent trade dispute between the two countries more difficult to resolve.
In a separate speech on Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray amplified O’Brien’s comments, telling a gathering at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies that China poses a “diverse and multilayered threat” to U.S. interests.
Speaking separately at a conference Thursday morning, each explained how China’s “Made in China 2025” goal puts the country at risk with state-sponsored espionage efforts across U.S. industries.
“As I stand here talking with you today, the FBI has about 1,000 investigations involving China’s attempted theft of U.S.-based technology in all 56 of our field offices and spanning just about every industry sector,” he said.
Wray added that China was aggressively exploiting U.S. academic openness to steal technology, using “campus proxies” and establishing “institutes on our campuses.”
He went on to say the ongoing threat needed to be dealt with through action across the whole of the U.S. government.
U.S. officials have said in the past that China has made it a priority to steal U.S. aircraft and electric vehicle technology, and that the annual cost of these thefts approaches $600 billion.
Given the stakes, U.S. authorities have stepped up their efforts to root out Chinese espionage operations here and abroad.
In 2019, for instance, the U.S. arrested and expelled two Chinese diplomats who allegedly drove onto a military base in Virginia.
Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 55, pleaded guilty in May to conspiring with Chinese intelligence agents starting in 2010, after he left the CIA. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison after prosecutors detailed a long financial paper trail they said showed that Lee received more than $840,000 for his work.
Also in May, another C.I.A. case officer, Kevin Patrick Mallory, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for selling classified documents to a Chinese intelligence officer for $25,000.
Speaking to ambassadors at the Meridian International Center, a foreign policy think tank, Wednesday morning, O’Brien admitted the rise of China and the heightened role both it and Russia are playing in global affairs is a concern,
“We need to focus on great power competition,” he said.
O’Brien, who assumed his position in September and is President Donald Trump’s
fourth national security adviser in three years, did offer an olive branch of sort, saying the U.S. wants to have “a great relationship” with both countries.
But he also acknowledged the “president believes in peace through strength and so do I … Weakness is provocative and encourages bad actors,” he said.
In The News
In The News
WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced his senior economic team, confirming after a week of speculation, that he would nominate Janet Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, to be the first woman to head the Treasury Department, In a statement, Biden said he... Read More
In the end, it came down to a razor thin margin of six votes out of 394,441 cast, but that was margin enough for the Iowa state canvassing board Monday to declare Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks winner of the state's hotly contested 2nd Congressional District race. On... Read More
WILMINGTON, Del. - President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris unveiled their Presidential Inaugural Committee on Monday, as preparations continue for their swearing in on Jan. 20. Although final plans for the inauguration are still somewhat up in the air due to the ever-changing circumstances... Read More
Large hospital systems are grappling with how best to decide which health care workers will be vaccinated first for COVID-19, a daunting task when it's unclear which shots they'll get, how many and when they'll arrive. The first COVID-19 vaccine could be cleared for U.S. use as soon... Read More
ATLANTA — There are a few certainties about the all-important runoffs in Georgia: The Jan. 5 contests will decide control of the U.S. Senate, set soaring spending records, attract the shiniest stars from both parties and put Georgia at the center of the political universe. But much remains up in the air about... Read More
WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden has built a senior communications team composed entirely of women, including Jen Psaki to be the face of the administration as White House press secretary, his transition said Sunday. Psaki, a former Obama White House communications director and State Department spokeswoman, has been an on-camera spokeswoman for Biden's transition office. Kate Bedingfield, deputy... Read More