CIA: China's Spying Has Increased : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

CIA: China's Spying Has Increased

By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON--China has increased its intelligence-gathering operations in the United States over the past decade, including relying on Chinese scientists, college students and even tourists to help gather sensitive information, contends an unclassified report to Congress by the CIA and the FBI.

The report to congressional leaders and to the House and Senate intelligence committees -sent in December but only released to the public on Thursday -also said China continues to try to exercise political influence over U.S. policymakers.

"Chinese attempts to obtain U.S. military and military-related technology -reflecting recognition of the overwhelming technological superiority enjoyed by the Western Alliance in the Gulf War and Kosovo -have increased since the early 1990s," the report said. A congressional report in the spring of 1999 reported widespread Chinese espionage at U.S. nuclear laboratories and suggested that China had benefited militarily from U.S. satellite sales and other technology transfers. China has denied such spying. The joint CIA-FBI five-page report said that Chinese espionage against the United States is broadly based. "Penetrating the U.S. intelligence community is a key objective of the Chinese," the report said. But, due to limited resources, China's intelligence community relies heavily on "a network of nonprofessional individuals and organizations," it said. "The Chinese intelligence services have a long history of using Chinese students studying abroad to collect information, either formally for those services or informally for their home-based research institutes or universities," the report said. "Many Chinese students in U.S. graduate schools are studying hard sciences and are able to collect a wide variety of information that is of value to China's efforts to ascend the technology ladder." The report said that intelligence on military matters is primarily gathered by military attaches assigned to the Chinese Embassy in Washington.

While most of this intelligence-gathering is from Western publications and other publicly available materials, since 1987 the FBI and the U.S. Customs Service "have detected and interdicted at least two ... clandestine collection operations in the United States" conducted by the military intelligence department of the People's Liberation Army General Staff.

The report said that China also puts heavy emphasis on economic espionage, including trying to coax information from American businessmen and businesswomen traveling in China, particularly those of Chinese ancestry. "Some of the thousands of Chinese students, scientists, researchers, and other visitors to the United States also gather information," the report said. China also continues to try to build political influence within the United States -including in Congress. "Much like the rest of the world, the Chinese government continues to seek influence in Congress through various means, including inviting congressional members to visit (China), lobbying ethnic Chinese voters and prominent U.S. citizens and engaging U.S. business interests," the report said. In a cover letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, CIA Director George Tenet and FBI Director Louis Freeh said the report was being submitted because it was requested by Congress in legislation passed in 1998. A classified version was sent to the House and Senate intelligence committees, they noted. Both Tenet and Freeh briefed congressional intelligence panels earlier in the week on the threat from alleged Chinese espionage. - - - On the Net: 1999 congressional report on alleged China spying:

-- cin (, March 10, 2000

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