FBI director labels China greatest threat to US

US intelligence ‘looking carefully’ at foreign interference behind protests

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FBI Director Christopher Wray warns of Chinese espionage capabilities. (FBI photo)

FBI Director Christopher Wray warns of Chinese espionage capabilities. (FBI photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday (June 24) the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the most comprehensive threat to the U.S., adding that the bureau has traced more than 2,000 active investigations back to the regime.

During an interview with Fox News, Wray claimed the CCP has threatened America's innovation, economic security, and democratic values. He revealed that there has been a 1,300 percent increase in espionage investigations into Beijing over the last decade and that the CCP has been fiercely pursuing a campaign to influence U.S. politics.

Wray warned Beijing sometimes employs "non-traditional collectors" of information, such as businessmen or high-level scientists, rather than government officials for intellectual property theft. He said the CCP targets large and small businesses across the U.S. as well as academic research institutions.

When asked to provide updates on the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak, Wray said more information is required for the FBI to determine Beijing's role in the pandemic. However, he noted current evidence suggests the outbreak emanated from the Chinese city of Wuhan.

The U.S. intelligence chief added the bureau is "looking carefully" into foreign influence or interference behind the recent nationwide protests against police violence following George Floyd's death. He said foreign adversaries have in the past used social media, propaganda, and disinformation to disrupt U.S. society and that the agency has launched an investigation into "violent anarchist extremists" that may be linked to foreign governments.

Wray stressed that racial equality and systematic reform are key issues that need to be addressed and he personally supported. He said many communities in the U.S. have been hurting, but families of law enforcement workers have also been negatively impacted by the social unrest, which he believed could only be solved through rational, mutual communication.