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China eyes US health care organizations, pharma cos, academic institutions researching on COVID-19: FBI director

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 10 Jul 2020

Photo courtesy: IMAGE: Wikipedia Commons / Unsplash

Washington: Focussing on the threat which China poses to the world, FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday said Beijing is working to compromise American health care organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and academic institutions conducting essential COVID-19 research.

He said almost half of nearly 5,000 active FBI counterintelligence cases currently underway across the country are related to China.

"We’ve now reached the point where the FBI is opening a new China-related counterintelligence case about every 10 hours," the FBI director was quoted as saying by the official website.

"Of the nearly 5,000 active FBI counterintelligence cases currently underway across the country, almost half are related to China," he said.

"And at this very moment, China is working to compromise American health care organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and academic institutions conducting essential COVID-19 research," he said.

Speaking on the techniques, he said: "The American people need to understand that China uses a diverse range of sophisticated techniques—everything from cyber intrusions to corrupting trusted insiders."

"They’ve even engaged in outright physical theft. And they’ve pioneered an expansive approach to stealing innovation through a wide range of actors—including not just Chinese intelligence services but state-owned enterprises, ostensibly private companies, certain kinds of graduate students and researchers, and a whole variety of other actors working on their behalf," the director said.

He said to achieve its goals and surpass America, China recognizes it needs to make leaps in cutting-edge technologies.

"But the sad fact is that instead of engaging in the hard slog of innovation, China often steals American intellectual property and then uses it to compete against the very American companies it victimized—in effect, cheating twice over. They’re targeting research on everything from military equipment to wind turbines to rice and corn seeds," Wray said.

He said: "Through its talent recruitment programs, like the so-called Thousand Talents Program, the Chinese government tries to entice scientists to secretly bring our knowledge and innovation back to China—even if that means stealing proprietary information or violating our export controls and conflict-of-interest rules."

He said China’s government and Communist Party have brazenly violated well-settled norms and the rule of law.

"Since 2014, Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping has spearheaded a program known as 'Fox Hunt.' Now, China describes Fox Hunt as some kind of international anti-corruption campaign—it is not. Instead, Fox Hunt is a sweeping bid by General Secretary Xi to target Chinese nationals whom he sees as threats and who live outside China, across the world. We’re talking about political rivals, dissidents, and critics seeking to expose China’s extensive human rights violations," he said.

He warned: "If you are an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data."




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