FBI and MI5 chiefs warn against Chinese commercial espionage

FBI and MI5 chiefs warn of Chinese commercial espionage

MI5 Director General Ken McCallum (left) and FBI Director Christopher Wray have warned business leaders that Beijing is determined to steal their technology to gain a competitive advantage.

Chiefs of the US FBI (US federal police) and Britain's MI5 (secret intelligence service responsible for homeland security in the UK) warned on Wednesday of a surge in terrorism. Chinese commercial espionage in the West, during a rare joint speech in London.

Before an audience of officials and business executives at Thames House, MI5 Director General Ken McCallum and US Federal Police Director Chris Wray said the threat from Chinese spies was growing.

According to Mr. McCallum, MI5 has been careful to expand its operations in relation to China.

Today we are conducting seven times more investigations than in 2018, he said. We plan to expand […], while maintaining a major effort against covert Russian and Iranian threats.

According to him, Chinese intelligence services take a slow and patient approach to developing sources and accessing information, and few of those targeted identify themselves as such.

“Hostile activity is currently taking place on British soil.

—Ken McCallum, Director of UK Domestic Intelligence (MI5)

In terms of volume, most of what is threatened by the Chinese Communist Party's aggression is not, so to speak, the things I deal with. That's what you care for – cutting-edge expertise, technology, research and business advantage, developed and owned by the people in this room, and others like you. , he added.

For his part, Wray said the Chinese threat was a complex, enduring and pervasive danger to the US and UK as well as other allies.

China is determined to steal your technology […] and use it to undermine your business and dominate your market, he said.

The pair also warned that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would massively disrupt global trade and industry. They called on the business community to remain vigilant and report possible threats.

“The Chinese Communist Party cares about our democratic, media and legal systems. Not to imitate them, unfortunately, but to use them for his own benefit. »

— Ken McCallum, director of the British internal intelligence services (MI5)

Beijing, through his embassy in London, rejected these accusations, considering them lacking of foundation.

The alleged cases they raised are just smokescreens, a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in the UK said in a statement. press release published on the website of the diplomatic representation.

They spread all kinds of lies about China to smear the Chinese political system, to boost anti-China sentiment and exclusion, and to distract the public from to cover up their own nefarious actions, he retorted.

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