Profile picture
❌Stu Cvrk @STUinSD
, 91 tweets, 17 min read Read on Twitter
Thread: On Chinese Spying in the US

1. Most of my past threads on the Chinese plan for world domination (there are MANY rolled up for reading!) have focused on economic aspects, i.e., One Belt, One Road (OBOR) and “Made in China 2025.”
2. In some of those threads, I touched on other aspects, including the astonishing improvement in their military and space capabilities, theft of US intellectual property, corruption/capturing of US politicians, and use of influence agents in American cultural institutions.
3. I also did a thread on Chinese economic espionage and cyber spying which laid out their overall goals and objectives.
4. As a reminder, here are China’s overarching strategic goals and the means by which the Chinese conduct espionage here in the US, as documented in a USG report from the National Counterintelligence and Security Center:
5. This thread will elaborate on Chinese espionage activities in the US. While there has been a spate of stories on this topic in the media in the Trump era, the scope of their activities over time is quite breathtaking. Here we go.
6. Mao Zedong assumed Communist control of China in 1949. Since that time, the CIA has conducted regular assessments of ChiCom development, intentions, and projections.
7. For background purposes, over seventy CIA “National Intelligence Estimates” and reports have been declassified that cover the 1950s and 1960s; these can be acceessed here: (h/t @BehanJoseph47):
cia.gov/library/readin…
8. The CIA (and other agencies) have been watching China closely for decades. Rightfully so! But what have the Chinese been doing to “return the favor” especially since ChiCom political power has long been consolidated, and the China are focused outward on dominating the world?
9. There have been Chinese influence agents and fellow-traveler Americans in play since before WWII. Perhaps the most significant early influence agent was Harry Dexter White who was actually a Soviet spy (in those days the Chinese and Soviets were sympatico).
10. White was Truman’s assistant secretary of the treasury, and he facilitated the ChiCom victory over the Kuomintang in 1948-49 by blocking US loans and a transfer of $20 million in gold bullion to the Chiang Kai-Shek at the height of the Chinese civil war.
11. While the US was largely fixated on the “Soviet menace” during the Cold War, the Chinese followed Sun Tzu’s principles on the use of spies and greatly expanded their efforts in the US since the 1950s.
suntzusaid.com/book/13
12. Does anyone remember the case of Larry Wu-Tai Chin in the mid-1980s? He was a 30-year CIA analyst (!) who was caught spying for China. For over thirty years! The damage done must have been enormous over that period of time. No way he was the only one!
cia.gov/library/readin…
13. And he wouldn’t even have been caught had it not been for a high-level Chinese defector that exposed him!
14. These are just a couple of examples to wet your whistle. Let’s move on and survey much more recent Chinese espionage activities in the US. Check this out:
15. “Beijing's spy networks in the United States include up to 25,000 Chinese intelligence officers and more than 15,000 recruited agents who have stepped up offensive spying activities since 2012, according to a Chinese dissident ….
15A. “…with close ties to Beijing's military and intelligence establishment.”
Chinese “defensive intelligence was mainly focused on learning about the United States. The operations then shifted in 2012 to ‘offensive’ spying, he said.”
16. “Around 2012, a decision was made by Chinese leaders to dispatch another 5,000 spies to the United States. ‘Some of them were sent as students, some as businessmen, and some as immigrants, but all together, 5,000,’ Guo said.”
17. “Chinese intelligence officers sent to the United States are controlled by the MSS by keeping all their family members and relatives hostage. China's intelligence targets included several strategic areas of the United States.”
18. “’The first is to obtain military weapons-related technology. This is priority No. 1,’ Guo said. Second, Chinese intelligence is engaged in "buying" senior U.S. officials personally, and a third objective is buying family members of American political or business elites….
18A. “…’with a view to getting intelligence and to make big business deals in China's favor,’ he said.
19. “A fourth priority is penetrating the American internet system and critical infrastructure by implanting malicious software. ’And they have successfully penetrated all the major defense weapons suppliers of the U.S. government,’ Guo said.”

The rest:
freebeacon.com/national-secur…
20. Those were the words of a Chinese dissident. Were they just dezinformatsiya to be disregarded? What do our own counter-intelligence folks say about China? Here are some quotes:
21. “"China is number one,’ [William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center and top US counterintelligence official] said. ‘Existentially, long term, they're the largest threat to our national security, bar none—it's not even close.’"
22. “Over the last several months, national security officials, including FBI Director Christopher Wray, have warned about China's espionage capabilities.”
23. “Wray spoke at the Aspen Security Forum in July where he warned about China from a counterintelligence perspective, saying the nation represents "the broadest, most challenging threat we face at this time.”
24. "The volume of it, the pervasiveness of it, the significance of it, is something this country cannot underestimate," Wray said.

Read the rest here:
freebeacon.com/national-secur…
25. Okay, they’ve got a “spy workforce” hard at it in the US, and our own CI guys tell us that China is our number one threat. What are their goals and objectives? What’s da plan? Here’s a good summary from that NCSC document:
26. Looks like our CI guys know (or have an educated guess) what they’re up to. So how successful is FBI counter-intel doing versus the threat? We can certainly highlight a few recent (and shocking to some!) wins – some of which are, as usual, after the real damage has been done.
27. The Chinese stole many of America’s nuclear secrets during the ‘80s and ‘90s! Some excerpts from a 1999 article: (h/t @FondoOfTheMondo )
28. “The report said China engaged in systematic espionage over 20 years, culling top-secret information on all seven nuclear warheads in the US ballistic-missile arsenal and the neutron bomb, not yet deployed.”
29. “Stolen secrets included the blueprint for the W-88 miniaturised warhead, which allows a missile to be armed with multiple warheads.
30. “The report also said at least some of the 3,000 Chinese corporations operating in the US, some connected to the Chinese army, were a front for unauthorised technology exports.”
31. “US companies may not be aware of the extent of Chinese spying and many ‘are generally unprepared for the reality of doing business in the PRC’. China's ‘appetite for information and technology appears to be insatiable’, the report concluded.”
32. Here’s the kicker from that article: “President Bill Clinton said the administration accepted most of the report and was already implementing its recommendations. But his policy of ‘constructive engagement’ - which Republicans see as the root of the problem - ….
32A. “…should continue, as it had produced benefits for US national security, including China's decision to sign the Test-Ban Treaty.”

Yeah, right, Bill. How much did you and, later, the Clinton Foundation get from the Chinese over the decades again?
independent.co.uk/news/chinese-s…
33. Moving on. Since Hillary was appointed Secretary of State and set up that infamous “UNCLAS email server in Chappaqua in 2009, it is virtually certain that the Chinese were accessing it to get after all the TS/SCI/SAP info contained there:
dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6…
34. We know that there were at least 22 SAP-level files on that server; the IC IG told us so! The likelihood that there were dozens more in those magically “deleted” 33K emails is high. They represent our most cherished and closely-guarded secrets.
foxnews.com/politics/2016/…
35. But did the Chinese access those SAP files via that Chinese company, or was there another possibility? I happen to like @_ImperatorRex_ ‘s theory that they got access through her unshielded Blackberry when she visited China:
36. Regardless, SAPs include advanced science and technology programs, many of which find their way into next-generation military weapons systems. Think lasers, rail guns and cybernetic weapons. Chinese access to those secrets short-cuts their own development costs BIGLY!
37. Other SAPs have to do with HUMINT operations overseas in places like…….China! There was a human cost to the Chinese accessing Hillary’s email server, paid for in blood by US operatives in China in 2010.
thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2…
39. How about DiFi’s (or should I say “ChiFi’s”) very own Chinese spy? There have been a few stories about that in recent weeks, and poof! DiFi is back to her old credible self (in the eyes of the media at least) in leading the charge against the Kavanaugh nomination.
40. Let’s check it out. The story was first broken by Politico:

“Former intelligence officials [said that] Chinese intelligence once recruited a staff member at a California office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, & the source reported back to China about local politics."
41. “(A spokesperson for Feinstein said the office doesn’t comment on personnel matters or investigations, but noted that no Feinstein staffer in California has ever had a security clearance.)”

Read the rest here: politico.com/magazine/story…
42. Hmmm. That’s pretty vague, and did you get that last bit about no one having any security clearance? And she was on the Senate Intelligence Committee as ranking member for years? What do you suppose that Chinese spy had access to?
43. But we find out more details as time goes by. Next we find out that he was her “driver” for 20 years!
44. “[T]he Feinstein staffer was suspected of providing political intelligence — but nothing classified — to his handlers, with one former intelligence official telling author Zach Dorfman that the suspected informant was ‘run’ by officials based at the local Chinese Consulate.”
45. “’Dianne was mortified,’ said our source, who spoke to us only on condition he not be named.”

Yeah, I’ll bet she was “mortified” all right; mortified that that guy got caught given that her paymasters in Beijing have made her and her husband rich over the years.
46. Read the rest of that article here:
sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier…
47. Think these Chinese spying cases are just aberrations? Here’s a list of 23 cases as compiled by Wikipedia; read the vignettes on each case here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_C…
48. Here is what they and others have accomplished over the yrs:

“Designs for many of the nation’s most sensitive advanced weapons systems have been compromised by Chinese hackers, according to a report prepared for the Pentagon & to officials from govt & the defense industry.”
49. “Among more than two dozen major weapons systems whose designs were breached were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships, according to a previously undisclosed section of a confidential report ….
49A. “…prepared for Pentagon leaders by the Defense Science Board.”
50. “Some of the weapons form the backbone of the Pentagon’s regional missile defense for Asia, Europe and the Persian Gulf.”
51. “The designs included those for the advanced Patriot missile system, known as PAC-3; an Army system for shooting down ballistic missiles, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD; and the Navy’s Aegis ballistic-missile defense system.”
52. “Also identified in the report are vital combat aircraft and ships, including the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship, which is designed to patrol waters close to shore.”
Read the rest:
washingtonpost.com/world/national…
53. To complement their espionage program, open source intelligence gathering by the Chinese is also a serious threat to US national security interests. The Chinese make no secret about their “Thousand Talents” program:
54. “China’s ‘Thousand Talents’ program to tap into its citizens educated or employed in the U.S. is a key part of multi-pronged efforts to transfer, replicate and eventually overtake U.S. military and commercial technology, according to American intelligence officials.”
55. “The program, begun in 2008, is far from secret. But its unadvertised goal is ‘to facilitate the legal and illicit transfer of U.S. technology, intellectual property and know-how’ to China, according to an unclassified analysis by the National Intelligence Council.”
56. Our open society makes it easy for Chinese (and others) to access our technology base. Read the rest here:
bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
57. Surely that’s all the Chinese spying going on, right? Cyber spies, real spies, and the “Thousand Talents”? Nope. There are the Confucius Institutes, too:
58. “There are presently upward of 100 Confucius Institutes embedded in American colleges and universities, and many more Confucius classrooms in American K-12 schools.”
59. “Funded by the Chinese government, their activities commonly include courses in Chinese language and culture taught by personnel likewise supplied by the People’s Republic.”
60. “Although Hanban, the Beijing headquarters of the Confucius Institutes, commonly advertises itself as a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education…this is a benign disguise.”

(h/t @BehanJoseph47)

Read more here: insidehighered.com/views/2018/07/…
61. You see, all Chinese nationals overseas are REQUIRED to collect intelligence and report back to Chinese security services upon their return to the PRC. That includes instructors at Confucius Institutes, as well as Chinese attending technical conferences and even students.
62. A lot of these overseas Chinese are influence agents acting to propagandize Americans by conveying ChiCom Central Committee policies and plans as “benign.” But where does “influence agent” end and “spying” start? It’s a fine line.
63. And there you have it: China has a well-organized multi-faceted espionage campaign targeted at the US. They have a concrete plan, discrete goals and objectives, and tens of thousands of Chinese whose sole purpose is espionage working inside the US.
64. And don’t forget that there are an unknown number of cyber spies working 24x7 in mainland China within various People’s Liberation Army (PLA) organizations to penetrate US military and commercial networks!
65. Their plan for world domination is multi-dimensional and contains several coordinated elements: economic subterfuge (the OBOR debt-trap), use of influence agents within targeted countries, purchasing of US politicians and think tanks, theft of any/all technology, ….
65A. …synthesis of stolen intellectual property into Chinese-built military & space systems, and, above all else, the consistent use of espionage to achieve PRC national goals. China is indeed the #1 national security threat to US interests worldwide. Tell a friend! ///The end.
Appendix A. See what I mean? The Chinese are relentless:

Appendix B: Excerpts from a recent newsletter shed light on Chinese economic espionage after that recent sting op in Belgium that netted a spy at General Electric.
B.1 China and others, such as Russia, will continue their attempts to acquire intelligence as they strive to achieve technological parity with the West.
B.2 Because it is faster and cheaper to steal technology than develop it from scratch, Western companies, universities and other organizations will remain prime targets.
B.3 Although the Chinese operative at the center of the latest case has been captured, the high stakes involved mean that the arrest will do little to curb the persistent threat of industrial espionage.
B.4 On Oct. 10, Belgium extradited a Chinese intelligence officer to the United States after an Ohio court had indicted the operative on charges of "economic espionage involving theft of trade secrets from leading U.S. aviation companies."
B.5 Belgian authorities arrested Xu Yanjun, a deputy division director of the Sixth Bureau of China's Ministry of State Security (MSS) in Jiangsu, on April 1 in Brussels, based on an arrest warrant issued in connection with a U.S. criminal complaint.
B.6 Once Belgian authorities extradited Xu to the United States on Oct. 10, American authorities unsealed the indictment and the initial criminal complaint.
B.7 The Chinese government recognizes that the economic model it has followed for the past three decades is unsustainable. At the same time, its shift to a new model will require a great deal of technical development.
B.8 Because the consequences of failure in this transformation are huge, Beijing and Chinese companies are experiencing a great deal of pressure to acquire the necessary technologies.
B.9 Finding that it is often quicker and cheaper to steal technology than it is to develop it, Chinese entities have begun aggressively engaging in industrial espionage — and they are not the only ones.
B.10 The arrest of a Chinese operative in a third country, followed by his subsequent extradition to the United States, lays bare the threat of industrial espionage.
B.11 The case sends a clear signal to Beijing that Washington and its allies are serious about addressing the constant threat of Chinese industrial espionage and are willing to take decisive action.
B.12 Intelligence agencies have long viewed technical conferences as rich hunting grounds for recruiting agents with access to technical intelligence.
B.13 Beyond merely visiting conferences organized by others, agencies such as China's State Security Ministry often host conferences and technical exchange programs using cover organizations, including universities, trade associations and think tanks.
B.14 In addition to inviting groups to attend conferences, operatives will frequently invite people of interest to make individual visits to the cover organizations.
B.15 Chinese intelligence recruited Kevin Mallory after the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences invited the former CIA officer to travel to China to provide his perspective on current issues in exchange for compensation.
B.16 U.S. authorities eventually caught up with Mallory, who was convicted of espionage in June.
B.17 In pursuing this case, the United States has placed China on notice that it will work to constrain Beijing's industrial espionage activities.
B.18 Chinese intelligence agencies such as MSS, however, are under tremendous pressure from their masters to acquire specific technologies, meaning it is highly unlikely that prosecutions will halt China's aggressive pursuit of technology.
B.19 But due to the sequence of events in the Xu case, the next time Chinese agents approach an employee at Company A in possession of sensitive information, they are likely to be a bit more careful, lest they find themselves caught once more in a sting operation. ///The end.
@threadreaderapp pls unroll; tnx
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to ❌Stu Cvrk
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!