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FBI opens new China investigation ‘every 10 hours’, says bureau director

In his testimony, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that no other country poses a greater threat to the economic security and democratic ideals of the United States than China, adding that its ability to influence American institutions is “deep, broad and persistent”.

US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and CIA Director William Burns spoke alongside Wray during Wednesday’s hearing, the first group public testimony by the country’s intelligence leaders before the US Congress since 2019.

In particular, Wray identified an indictment relating to a Chinese government operation called “Foxhunt”, which he said involved Beijing carrying out “uncoordinated illegal police activities” on American soil as a means of “threatening , intimidate to harass (and) blackmail “members of the ethnically Chinese” diaspora “.

“It’s an indication and illustration of the difficulty and the diversity of this particular threat,” Wray said.

The Chinese government views “Operation Foxhunt” as an international anti-corruption campaign that targets fugitives from China, often former officials or wealthy individuals suspected of economic crimes.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has previously defended the actions of its agents abroad, noting that “Chinese law enforcement authorities strictly adhere to international law,” and accused US critics of being “motivated. by ulterior motives ”.
The hearing comes less than a week after the U.S. intelligence community released its annual threat assessment, in which it warned that the Chinese and Russian governments were aiming to use the Covid-19 pandemic to increase their global influence.

The report said Beijing had “stepped up efforts to shape the political environment” in the United States, to try to assert its political influence and stifle criticism of its own policies, including the crackdown on civil liberties in Xinjiang and in Hong Kong.

On Wednesday, Haines told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the Chinese government has “substantial” cyber capabilities that “if deployed, at a minimum can cause localized and temporary disruption to critical infrastructure inside the United States.”

In July 2020, the US government indicted two suspected Chinese hackers who authorities said were part of a “massive global campaign of computer intrusion”, including trying to gain access to US coronavirus research and targeting human rights activists.

“At no time has it been more important to invest in our standards and institutions, our workforce and the integration of our work,” Haines said Wednesday.


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