U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI-o8), chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), wants a briefing from top Biden administration officials on increasing incidents of CCP spies accessing sensitive military, economic, and technological secrets on U.S. soil.
Gallagher joined fellow committee member U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA-02) on Wednesday in calling on Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and FBI Director Christopher Wray to explain to the committee why there’s been a surge in CCP espionage and what they plan to do about it.
In a letter to the officials, the committee members cite recent high-profile crimes, such as the Chinese spy balloon that meandered across the continental United States before finally being shot down off the East Coast. They also want to know how U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s emails were hacked before her trip to China earlier this year.
“In one case, potential agents infiltrated a U.S. Army test range, accessed numerous missile sites, and used drone technology to surveil the grounds,” noted the letter, signed by nine other Republican members of the Select Committee. “In another case, individuals were found scuba diving in a location home to a launch site for U.S. spy satellites and other sensitive military equipment.
“Indeed, these incidents are not limited to military sites. There are also ongoing efforts to collect intelligence on the White House—including its layout, security, and communications equipment,” the letter continues.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that U.S. officials have tracked some 100 incidents involving Chinese nationals trying to access American military and other installations.
“The incidents, which U.S. officials describe as a form of espionage, appear designed to test security practices at U.S. military installations and other federal sites,” the news outlet reported. “Officials familiar with the practice say the individuals are typically Chinese nationals pressed into service and required to report back to the Chinese government.”
Pentagon officials have conducted “several base security reviews since 2018,” and a “review done late last year focused on the physical security of the roughly 1,400 gates at the U.S. military’s bases, as well as other aspects of base security.”
Suffice to say, the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, which has aggressively pursued and uncovered evidence of the CCP’s growing threat, is alarmed by the incidents and the numbers of them.
The committee has the authority to “investigate and submit policy recommendations on the status of the Chinese Communist Party’s economic, technological, and security progress and its competition with the United States.”
“We respectfully request that you provide the Select Committee with all documents related to these security reviews as soon as possible but no later than October 6th 2023,” the committee letter states.
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.