Hearing confirms CCP’s threat to US IP & critical infrastructure

May 25, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, the House Country Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Policing, Insight, drove by Director August Pfluger (R-TX), held a consultation to evaluate the U.S. country’s weaknesses to Chinese Socialist Faction (CCP) animosity, including declaration from Iranga Kahangama, the Associate Secretary for Digital, Framework, Hazard and Flexibility at the Branch of Country Security (DHS); The Nation State Threats Center’s Acting Director, Tyrone Durham; and Jill Murphy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence. Their composed declaration can be viewed as here. Below are some highlights from the hearing.

Witnesses at the hearing confirmed that the CCP poses the greatest long-term threat to the integrity of U.S. intellectual property and critical infrastructure, that it steals American academic research through Confucius Institutes, and that it employs a wide variety of strategies, methods, and procedures to spread its malign influence on U.S. soil. In addition to these conclusions, the FBI pledged to collaborate with Committee Members to ensure that the Committee receives briefings on a variety of topics related to the CCP and government oversight.

In his initial line of addressing, Director Pfluger asked Ms. Murphy about a letter he and Executive Green shipped off FBI Chief Wray concerning the CCP’s surreptitious ‘police headquarters’ revealed in New York City and purportedly somewhere else in the country, which disregard our country’s sway:

“Last month, the FBI made two captures connected with the mysterious Chinese police headquarters working in New York City and charged handfuls more as a component of a bigger [People’s Republic of China] PRC work to situate in America supportive of a majority rule government Chinese activists and other people who are transparently condemning of Beijing’s strategies and to stifle their discourse. Chairman Green and I wrote letters to DHS and the FBI on April 24 asking for more information about this police station. Over two weeks have passed since we requested that deadline. Therefore, I kindly request a written response to that letter. How was a station related with such a detestable association [able to] spring up in New York City?”

Ms. Murphy’s response:

“The way that they work in the United States, and I imagine other countries that are experiencing similar threats from the communist government of China, is very diversified and layered. The threat from China is complex and vast. Thus, when we discuss colleges, specialists, scholastics, or development, China multiplies that multitude of spaces to remember for our networks where Chinese Americans reside as a method for impacting those networks. We work effectively to distinguish those and research them. [… ] Their attack surface is extensive, and they are gathering information using every tool in their arsenal, whether it’s classified intellectual property, sensitive information, unclassified information, or anything else they consider valuable.

“Do you agree with your boss, FBI Director Wray, that the greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property and our economic vitality is the counterintelligence and economic espionage threat from China?” Chairman Pfluger asked Ms. Murphy about the number of counterintelligence investigations initiated by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against the CCP as part of the DOJ’s China Initiative, which was established to identify and prosecute CCP trade secret theft and protect American critical infrastructure from covert influence?

Chairman Pfluger inquired after Ms. Murphy’s unwavering agreement, asking:

Is it accurate to say that the FBI sometimes launches a counterintelligence case into China once every twelve hours?

Ms. Murphy replied:

Numerous Chinese counterintelligence investigations are underway. It’s likely about portion of the work that we do in the counterintelligence division.”

Ms. Murphy provided the following response when asked how many cases the FBI’s counterintelligence division had opened regarding foreign covert influence:

“Over two thousand,” I’d say.

In his third line of addressing, Executive Pfluger itemized discoveries from the Workplace of the Head of Public Knowledge’s Yearly Danger Appraisal depicting the censure impact activities by the CCP and asked Ms. Murphy about its utilization of Confucius Foundations to direct observation on U.S. college campuses:”You referenced the work that the FBI has done on Confucius Foundations. I am proud to sponsor a bill and other legislation that addresses Confucius Institutes at their core. Do you think the CCP is manipulating research and other academic outcomes at our universities and higher institutions in a bad way?

Ms. Murphy replied:

“I couldn’t say whether I’d express it’s to influence the results, [they] are likely more to take the exploration.”

The well-documented approach that they’ve used to acquiring either critical minerals, critical industries, farmland, ranch land, some of their military sites, especially sensitive military sites,” Chairman Pfluger asked Mr. Kahangama about the surveillance balloon’s flight path and the dangers posed by CCP land acquisitions in the United States. Could you at any point remark on the procurement of this farmland and has DHS or FBI overlaid the flight way of that Chinese government operative inflatable that came over the US a while prior with securing obtained land?”

Mr. Kahangama’s response:

“In the first place, to your point about land acquisitions, I think thanks to Congress too, land buys are presently included as inside the domain of what we call CFIUS. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has the authority to examine land purchases when they have a nexus specifically to military sites or airports or seaports, and to carry out a risk assessment if a foreign purchase of that is subject to foreign control. DHS’s CISA did, in fact, monitor the balloon’s flight path and the critical infrastructure nodes that were associated with it. In order to assist them in comprehending and mitigating the risk, I believe CISA sent out approximately 27 notifications and conducted outreach to state, local, and critical infrastructure entities.

Source – Homeland

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