Joe Biden’s FBI Director Christopher Wray highlighted the threat posed by the Chinese communist government to American interests during a public appearance on Monday.
Among the most critical issues touched on by Wray was the immense amount of information theft conducted by the Chinese. He said that China is stealing “staggering” levels of confidential information leading to “serious, job-destroying damage” to many US industries.
Wray added that the FBI continuously opens new investigations to counter Chinese intelligence covert operations. He said the agency currently opens a new file along those lines “about every 12 hours”.
Even considering only cyber methods, Wray said that hackers working for the Chinese government have stolen more confidential American data than “every other nation combined.” He also said the communist nation is increasing its targeting of organizations and persons inside the US for retribution. The Chinese focus their theft on political differences, including refugees and dissidents. China is increasingly going after people who “speak or worship” as they choose.
According to Wray, China is likely the first world government to use “cutting edge technical capacity” to support brazen authoritarian ambitions. He said the current situation with China is like adding the “surveillance nightmare” that was Soviet East Germany with the current technology power of Silicon Valley.
The speech came just before the scheduled opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. The Biden White House has announced a “diplomatic boycott” of the games, meaning athletes can travel to China and participate, but no American officials or diplomats will attend.
Many critics of the Chinese Communist Party have said that the diplomatic boycott does not go nearly far enough to protest against Chinese tactics and oppression. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has said that the US should announce a total boycott of the Olympics. He described Biden’s diplomatic boycott as a “half measure” when the country needed “bold leadership.” He added that American businesses should not financially support the communist government of China, and the nation’s athletes should not be exposed to the “dangers of a repugnant authoritarian regime.” He noted China’s recent acts of “disappearing” its athletes.