Secretive calls made in shady public phone booths. Money laundering and bribery. Code names galore.
These may seem like tropes you’ll only find in schlocky airport spy thrillers, but according to a new criminal complaint filed by the Department of Justice, they were very real parts of an espionage campaign by Chinese intelligence officers to try to disrupt an ongoing U.S. investigation into Huawei, a Chinese communications company closely linked to the Chinese Communist Party’s unprecedented mass surveillance systems.
Espionage by the Chinese government is a real and growing problem. In fact, FBI Director Christopher Wray has described it as the greatest long-term threat to our nation’s economy.
Last month, Nigel Inkster, a former director at the United Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Service, made clear that Western leaders can’t just bury their heads in the sand.
“Liberal democracies cannot just play defense,” he wrote. “Political leaders must champion greater investment in offensive intelligence collection capabilities and outreach programs that educate businesses, political organizations and other potential targets about their vulnerabilities.”
The Chinese government has made it clear it’s willing to fight dirty to assert itself on the world’s stage, and America must be ready to respond. At No Labels, we believe it’s time to put aside the partisanship and come together to confront this and other real challenges facing our nation. We want to hear from you— do you think politicians should be paying more attention to China?