“Threat from Russia paled in comparison to China” – BBC News


how worried are you about Chinese espionage
in the United States?
well I think from a
perspective of threat against the United
States national security in our interest
a China is number one by far and I think
espionage is a part of that but from a
perspective of countering the
intelligence threat of foreign nations
China is our biggest concern across a
wide range of issues espionage is one of
our larger ones.
from where you sit you
see China is a greater threat than
Russia?
yes! I think Russia has its own
skill sets with respect to threat to our
national security but it pales in
comparison the national security threat
posed by China and I would say not only
here in the US from an economic security
perspective from a military elation
perspective as well as globally when you
look at China and what their strategic
plan is and Xi Jinping plan is to be the
global superpower geopolitically
militarily and from an economic
perspective and they will achieve that
with any means necessary that becomes a
global issue not just the u.s. issue.
and what is China trying to do then what’s
it doing when it comes to stealing
secrets in America?
a lot of success has
been predicated upon the theft globally
and a lot of it here in the US of A
provide carry data and trade secrets if
you just looked back this year from June
or July till now Department of Justice
has indicted or charged 20 Chinese
individuals or businesses for economic
espionage just since July that is a lot
and those are just the ones we know
about those are just the ones that have
been charged through the criminal court
system now but I can tell you there’s
more coming and there’s more out there
so if you just look at that just a
moment in time the amount of data and
then when we like to do is say okay
that’s great we’ve arrested Chinese
students scientists businessmen stealing
on behalf of the Communist Party of
China wonderful but what we like to look
at is what’s the damage that’s done what
is the long-term cost to the American
taxpayer to the research and development
organizations to universities to the
businesses and how many jobs are lost
with the theft of this proprietary data
and trade secrets that’s the long-term
impact of another country stealing my
proprietary data and trade secrets.
they’ve been a number of cases
recently particularly on aerospace and
aviation do you think that shows a
particular interest from China in that
field?
I think it does and I think it
lays out again perfectly to their
strategic plan elements of what they’re
interested in and I would say for any
foreign intelligence service is the
ability to identify an engineer
scientist or someone of value in the
u.s. offer them free travel to China to
do a presentation in university or when
they get they get there
cultivate them and identify some of the
product and get them to be coerced to
provide that technology that provides
your data or a trade secret to them and
I think that’s tried-and-true and they
will continue to do that and because
people are vulnerable to that and don’t
understand into ferrous activities when
they’re asked to do so.
there been
reports that the Chinese use social
media platforms like LinkedIn to
approach people and to try and get them
to spy effectively.
that’s correct and I
think their use of the social media
sites like LinkedIn is prolific and
their ability to do so my target of
perspective and be able to scan and
search around the globe on these sites
for individuals that have a particular
technology is used every day and then
they could target those also if you look
at it from a perspective of the
intelligence service there it’s a
low-risk high-yield ability to send out
30,000 emails 40,000 emails and get 20
30 40 50 will respond and say I had that
technology I can come over and give that
presentation.
How far are universities a
target and how far are they the kind of
battleground over secrets when it comes
to to espionage into China?
that’s a great question universities are a big
part of this whole mosaic and we look at
you know where a lot of the research and
development is done throughout the world
it’s in the universities and colleges
and research centers that are globalized
right and and our adversaries around the
world know that the Chinese know that so
they will put people on those positions
to identify not only emerging
technologies but now technologies I
think colleges universities and research
centers are constantly victimized by the
Chinese about this just in the u.s. we
grant probably 350,000 students from
China alone access here the majority of
those are really hard working students
to learning
better educated around in their own
families and their mindsets but provides
an amazing opportunity for the Chinese
intelligence services to utilize those
individuals to steal that research and
development when you look at the funding
that comes with those 350,000 I
think their current estimate is forty
five billion dollars a year that US
universities and colleges are getting
from China to have their students come
here that’s wonderful it’s great for the
economy but also the university is now
starting to understand not only the US
but around the globe
the activities and then Affairs
activities of intelligence services
oftentimes happen on college university
campuses.
you’re seeing in the UK you
think.
that’s correct.
Chinese economic power in terms of is
clearly growing companies want access to
the Chinese market does that create any
concerns over the leverages that that
might give China?
it certainly does and I
spend a lot of my time the private
sector talking just about this because
if you are a Western market a Western
business of Western entity who has
developed something in order to be that
successful down the road you need to
engage in the Chinese market right which
is a huge part of the global economy but
when you do so you need to go there
fully understanding that there are risks
to that there are laws that provide
China the ability to take your data your
trade secrets proprietary data, your
information everything that your code
for your sources code that comes with
anything you’re gonna put there China
then owns that and that is not
reciprocal here in the US Great Britain
or Australia so when you look at that
capability when you go to China and the
global market to invest to be part of
that economy you have to go in there
with your eyes wide open that is a
significant challenge.
do you think
companies are aware of that challenge
because some technology companies have
gone into China some are debating going
into China is the Google issue whether
they’re gonna you know put a search
engine into China I mean do you think
companies are aware of the risks now of
what might be involved when it comes to
free expression for instance?
I would say
most of them are not I think there are
companies that have a specific
organizational ties have a particular
product understand that and they go
their eyes
open but I think it’s a risk based
assessment you have to have going to
China and I think we had to do a better
job in the Western civilization to say
hey when you go to China in this market
you were going to give this up
just as much as you were aware of that
and I think that’s all we can really ask
for when you’ve talked about Google
Google CEO alphabet CEO pretty much said
hey listen you have to sell part of your
soul when you go to China you have to
make that part of your equation when you
decide to do so.
and you think people who
are aware of those risks but not still enough?
and I think we’re getting there I don’t
think they’re there fully and I think
when you talk about the business end of
things that are not national
security-related it’s the the dream of
it’s the American dream it’s the the
dream of Great Britain to be able to
produce X and sell it globally and I
think that is the sign of a very healthy
capitalist society our goal is to throw
a layer on that of national security
what does that mean in US and Great
Britain and Australia in Canada how is
that impacting our national security my
perspective is our economic security is
our national security so they are
intertwined all we want companies and
businesses to know is there is a risk
factor when you go into China to operate.
and your messages think twice?
think
twice because your data is going to be
available to the Chinese government and
to intelligence services for whatever
they deem possible.
does it worry you
though that companies do seem to be
willing to censor what they do to get
access to the Chinese market because
we’re seeing more more cases where
people perhaps are not talking about
Tibet or Taiwan or some of these issues
because they want to sell their goods in
China they want to open hotels in China
they want to make films in China will
sell them to China?
it’s definitely a
slippery slope and I think it’s
problematic from me and I look at it
this says is this something we want to
have going forward as a global society
where we have a major retailer here in
the US have to apologize to the
government of China because they left
Taiwan off a map of China on the shirt
when we have a major airline have to
apologize to the Chinese government
because there’s so many markets for the
airline because of
tweet and and if you look at a major
hotel brand us have to apologize to
China because of mundane activity I
don’t think that is where we want to go
as a global society when we have to
apologize to countries again if you look
at Hollywood you know – China just ban
Winnie the pooh well now if you look at
that if we have screenwriters now in the
US and across the world in any capacity
whether it’s Hollywood or in the new
streaming video world have to write
their screenplays with the long term
vision of selling this in China that’s
the that’s the perfect metric for
success by the government of China that
we have self-censorship going on with
the ability for people with the long
term idea that we’re going to sell this
in the global market to include China we
cannot have anything anti China and our
documentary or a movie or a screenplay
is very problematic.
you think that’s a security risk?
I think the influence part
of that is a security risk I don’t think
that’s a national security but again
it’s part of the slippery slope where
you will have self-censorship in a free
society to be able to work and play in
the global economy or in China it’s very
problematic to the morals the values
that we build and are built and we live
by our democratic societies in the West.
so it’s a sense in which Chinese
influence is extending into
self-censorship or into limiting free
speech you think?
yes and I think they
already have an influence campaign where
they censor everything on their own but
when they have a democratic country like
the US or Great Britain self censoring
early on in a business process that is a
that is a model of success for China.
because they’ve exported it without even
having to pressure a company that will
tell them what to do?
absolutely we look
at the last ten years the amount of
movies that are no longer being able to
be marketed in China because they either
have an issue with China or the
predication of the show is maybe
negative and it’s China based that’s
problematic so when you have
screenwriters now writing in a script
thinking about well I better not say
this or that or do it this way because I
don’t believe it I sell my video in
China
that’s an amazing success for censorship.
do you think now in the US there is more
awareness of this because it’s certainly
been the case in the last six months
we’ve seen a lot of indictments a lot of
activity is is there a coordinated
campaign going on from from from this
administration to to put pressure on
China?
this is not an anti China issue
this is a protect America protect a free
world from all these nefarious
activities and the economic aggression
by China not only here in the US but on
the globe.

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