FBI calls Chinese espionage 'substantial'

FBI calls Chinese espionage 'substantial'
FBI calls Chinese espionage 'substantial'

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By Bill Gertz
July 27, 2007

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said yesterday that Chinese 
intelligence operations against the United States are a major problem 
and that the FBI is stepping up counterespionage efforts against them.

Mr. Mueller was asked during a House Judiciary Committee hearing about 
growing Chinese espionage activities.

=E2=80=9CThere is substantial concern,=E2=80=9D Mr. Mueller said. =E2=80=9CChina is stealing our 
secrets in an effort to leap ahead in terms of its military technology, 
but also the economic capability of China. It is a substantial threat 
that we are addressing in the sense of building our program to address 
this threat.=E2=80=9D

He declined to elaborate but said he would be willing to disclose more 
in a closed-door meeting.

The FBI and other counterintelligence agencies are hiring more agents 
and analysts who specialize in Chinese affairs to deal with the threat, 
U.S. officials said.

The FBI in San Francisco last month ran advertisements in three 
Chinese-language newspapers, asking for help from Chinese Americans to 
provide information about =E2=80=9Cillicit activities,=E2=80=9D presumably by Chinese 
intelligence operatives.

Several recent Chinese spy cases highlight the problem of Beijing's 
spying, including the case of Los Angeles businesswoman Katrina Leung, a 
longtime informant for the FBI who was later accused of secretly working 
for China's intelligence service, the Ministry of State Security.

Another Chinese spy ring was recently highlighted by the case of 
Chinese-born defense contractor Chi Mak, who was convicted of passing 
embargoed U.S. defense technology to China. Several of his relatives 
also were linked to the compromise of U.S. Navy technology to China.

Noshir Gowadia, a Hawaii-based defense consultant, also was indicted 
last year on charges of selling classified B-2 bomber and other weapons 
technology to China. He also was charged with helping Chinese missile 
designers build a stealth cruise missile. He pleaded not guilty.

Joel Brenner, the director of national counterintelligence, said in an 
interview in March that China's theft of technology from the United 
States is a serious problem and that Beijing is =E2=80=9Ceating our lunch=E2=80=9D in 
terms of compromised know-how.

Chinese spies are =E2=80=9Cvery aggressive=E2=80=9D in obtaining technology, often 
before it is fully developed by U.S. researchers, Mr. Brenner said.

Michelle Van Cleave, a former national counterintelligence executive, 
said in a recent defense report that Chinese spies are among =E2=80=9Cthe 
world's most effective=E2=80=9D and include civilian and military spies who have 
=E2=80=9Ca global reach.=E2=80=9D

Recent Chinese espionage successes include design information on all of 
the most advanced U.S. nuclear weapons, U.S. missile design and guidance 
technology, electromagnetic weapons and space-launch capabilities, Miss 
Van Cleave stated.

China also succeeded in frustrating U.S. intelligence-gathering and 
counterintelligence against China through Leung, Mr. Brenner said.

China's government denies that it engaged in intelligence-gathering 
against the United States.

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