Tags: congress | intel | china | threat

Intel Chiefs Warn Senate About China Threat

Image: Intel Chiefs Warn Senate About China Threat
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 Feb 2018 12:09 PM

Chinese companies linked to the government in Beijing are a major security threat to the United States by stealing and buying sensitive American technology, intelligence leaders warned Congress, The Washington Free Beacon has reported.

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee at a briefing that these Chinese firms use various methods to gain access to the most advanced technologies, including through cyber attacks and buying American companies.

Coats said top priority must be placed on countering these threats and expressed support for congressional legislation that would strengthen the Treasury Department-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews foreign purchases in order to protect national security.

Coats said that CFIUS, which has few staff and investigative resources, is currently inadequate to defend against these threats.

FBI Director Christopher Wray stressed that it is vital for the private sector to receive "defensive briefings" so that they can "recognize the threats that are coming their way.

He also warned that Chinese spies are spreading throughout the United States as a serious threat and are using "nontraditional collectors, especially in the academic setting - whether its professors, scientists, students," the Washington Examiner reported.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn expressed concern that "China has weaponized investment in an attempt to vacuum up our advanced technologies and simultaneously undermine our defense industrial base," according to the Free Beacon.

He stressed that "As it acquires U.S. firms, and technology, and intellectual property, as well as the know-how to put it to use, the risk is that the Chinese government, which has its tentacles not just in state-owned Chinese companies, but also in so-called private Chinese firms, that it will get its hands on these capabilities and use them against us."

The warnings about China come as the Trump administration is considering placing sanctions on one of the country's largest conglomerates, HNA Group Co., which has invested more than $16 billion in buying American companies but did not fully disclose that it is partially owned by members of China's Communist Party, some of whom are current Chinese government officials.

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Chinese companies linked to the government in Beijing are a major security threat to the United States by stealing and buying sensitive American technology, intelligence leaders warned Congress.
congress, intel, china, threat
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2018-09-14
Wednesday, 14 Feb 2018 12:09 PM
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