Over 2,000 FBI investigations trace back to China
“...there is no country that presents a broader, more comprehensive threat to America’s innovation, our national security, and our democratic ideals than China does.”
Christopher Wray, FBI Director
On Wednesday night, FBI director Christopher Wray revealed the Federal Bureau of Investigations has more than 2,000 active investigations linking to the Chinese government. In a FOX Interview with Bret Baier, Wray explained the extent to which China has increased their economic espionage in the U.S. This espionage, as opposed to political espionage, relies on theft of intellectual property, cyber intrusions, and breaching academic research institutions, per the FBI investigations. Wray says economic espionage is the most prevalent way China obtains American business information.
This comes at a time where some Republicans are looking for ways to hold China accountable for withholding early COVID-19 information. Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have introduced the COVID-19 Accountability Act in the Senate and the House.
In a press release from Congressman Doug Collins’ office, the representative said, “The Chinese Communist regime’s cover up of the coronavirus outbreak cost hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide and caused unfathomable harm to the global economy, and they must be held accountable”. An early summary of the bill indicated it would provide a sixty day period to certify to Congress that China has:
“Provided a full and complete accounting to any COVID-19 investigation led by the United States, its allies, or United Nations affiliates, such as the World Health Organization (WHO);
Closed all wet markets that have the potential to expose humans to health risks
Released all pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong that were arrested in the post COVID-19 crackdowns.”
President Trump, who is participating in trade negotiations with China, has remained relatively quiet about penalties to China in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the proposed bill, the President would also be given the authority to impose sanctions to hold China accountable, including travel bans, visa revocations, and going as far as restricting U.S. financial institutions from making loans to any Chinese businesses. President Trump has expressed no intent to commit to such measures so far.
Alan Rosa is a Policy Correspondent for The National Times.