FBI director warns Chinese spies are the biggest threat to the US and its allies

FBI Director Christopher Wray often uses US speeches and congressional testimony to warn of Chinese espionage, but in a rare move last week, he delivered his message. I traveled to the UK to raise global awareness of the threat.

In an interview in London, Wray called for continued focus on China even though the US and its allies are investing heavily in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We want to make sure that this [China] Wray told the Financial Times.

He was speaking before a joint event with Ken McCallum, the head of UK intelligence MI5in which the couple warned business leaders about the growing threat from Chinese spy.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a time when the director of the FBI and the director-general of MI5 would do something like this, on any subject,” Wray said.

“It’s a measure of both how important the threat is, but how united we are in prioritizing it and how we tackle it.”

Since becoming FBI director in 2017, Wray has been outspoken about threats from China range from cyber espionage to attempts to influence US politics. He said countries, businesses and academia had become more attuned to the threat, but stressed that Chinese intelligence was ramping up espionage efforts.

“They continue to double down on what we’ve been calling for, adding that the FBI opens an investigation into China every 12 hours on average,” Wray said.

“As we push back with our partners, the Chinese government increasingly needs to get smarter about how to conceal and conceal some of its activities.”

Wray said China is making it more difficult for companies to do due diligence on potential Chinese partners. He said the Chinese Communist Party had long used “complex games of cover” to hide its influence but said they were becoming “more complex”, placing greater burdens on companies. The West.

Wray said the FBI and MI5 want to strengthen cooperation with businesses to give them tools to prevent espionage. “The scale of the threat we’re talking about is not something we believe we can investigate our way, or certainly arrest us,” he added.

Wray said that many universities are working closely with the FBI on the issue but acknowledges that it is a challenge to help smaller companies, which may not realize they are targets.

“Part of the problem is that we still need to reach more and more smaller companies, venture capital firms, people like that.

“Several smaller companies are very interested [to China] because that’s where there’s a lot of innovation, but some of them don’t have the same resilience built into their system. “

MI5’s McCallum also highlighted concerns about China.

“Russia is clearly a country that plays an important role in the military sphere, in the energy sector, but not in many other areas of technology or the academic work we are describing,” he said.

“China is the most game-changing of the threats in the sense that it extends to so many aspects of our national life.”

Wray said China is also under closer scrutiny after President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin announced a “no-limits” partnership ahead of the invasion of Ukraine.

“Ironically, the Chinese are seeing the world become more and more aware of what they are doing,” he added.

During a joint event on the last day of his visit, Wray said he hoped security services in other countries would replicate the kinds of partnerships the FBI and MI5 have forged with the private sector. .

“If we are going to defend from threats, whether it be the threat of Chinese economic espionage or cyber threats from any country, that requires cooperation with Private area”.

Sitting next to Wray, McCallum said the two agencies are deepening their cooperation in an already close partnership, citing what he says is an African maxim he learned from his daughter: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.

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