(NewsNation) — Intelligence officials from both the United States and Britain are once again warning U.S. businesses of the great lengths they say the Chinese government is willing to go to steal their property in order to gain a competitive edge in global competition.
China has long been considered a significant cybersecurity threat to the West and on Wednesday FBI Director Christopher Wray joined Britain’s MI5 intelligence director Ken McCallum to reaffirm warning to Western businesses to be wary of Chinese espionage.
“We consistently see that it’s the Chinese government that poses the biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security, and by ‘our,’ I mean both of our nations, along with our allies in Europe and elsewhere,” Wray said.
Matthew Turpin, who served as the National Security Council’s China director during the Trump administration and now works with Hoover Institute, told NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” that what China is doing has been sucking hundreds of billions of dollars from the U.S. economy.
“I think they have been impacting the average American for a number of years,” Turpin said. “The FBI and Justice Department have prosecuted numerous espionage cases against the Chinese Communist Party and and Ministry of State Security over the course of years.”
China’s President Xi Jinping has been outspoken in his view that the United States is China’s biggest “threat” toward prosperity and said in 2021 he viewed the world’s power landscape as changing to demonstrate the “East is rising and the West is declining.”
On Thursday China doubled down on this stance, saying the United States was “the biggest threat to world peace, stability and development” in a rebuttal to Wray and McCallum’s comments.
“Facts have fully proven that the U.S. is the biggest threat to world peace, stability and development,” said China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian. “We urge this U.S. official to have the right perspective, see China’s developments in an objective and reasonable manner and stop spreading lies and stop making irresponsible remarks.”
Western officials have been sounding alarms for years that China will use cyber hacking and espionage of Western institutions and businesses to see Xi’s vision come to fruition.
“The convictions in that case where we actually have members of the PRC’s Ministry of State Security in U.S. prison, they were convicted in 2018,” Turpin said. “It involved a complex effort of cyber espionage and human intelligence in terms of infiltrating French and U.S. companies in order to steal this technology.”
In 2014, U.S. military officials accused China of stealing plans for the revolutionary and high-tech military aircraft the F-35, F-22 and C-17, from Boeing and Lockheed Martin. At the time, Chinese officials allegedly said the stolen data would allow China to “stand easily on the giant’s shoulders.”
“This is around stealing the cutting-edge technologies that give the United States and other democracies both national security advantages and economic prosperity advantages,” Turpin said.
In March, China rolled out a new fleet of Navy ships, giving it the largest Naval force in the world, surpassing the United States for that title.