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FBI’s Wray Gives McCarthyite Warning to Americans: Dare Not To Fall for China’s ‘Malign Influence’

July 7, 2020 (EIRNS)—FBI head Christopher Wray spoke this morning at the Hudson Institute. His core message was that the Chinese are sneaky, and their “Malign Influence Program” is primarily done through “middlemen.” So, if you hear “China-friendly” messages, you need to report it to the FBI to find out whether you might be targeted as a dupe of China’s goal of becoming the sole superpower. Wray covered a lot, but he failed to mention anything about the fluoridation of the water or the sapping of our precious bodily fluids.

Wray characterized his presentation on the China threat as part of a fourfold assault: following that of National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and preceding presentations by Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Wray announced:

“The greatest-long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property and to our economic vitality is a counterintelligence and economic espionage threat from China. It is a threat to our economic security and, by extension, to our national security.... I will provide more detail on the Chinese threat than the FBI has ever presented in an open forum.”

All Americans are victims and they all need to get engaged in the fight. The Chinese Communist Party “believes it is in a generational fight to surpass our country in economic and technological leadership ... it is waging that fight not through legitimate innovation.... China is engaged in an effort to become the world’s only superpower by any means necessary....”

China’s “malign foreign influence” was defined as subversive, undeclared, criminal or coercive attempts to sway our government’s policies and distort our public discourse. “China is engaged in a highly sophisticated, malign foreign influence campaign, including bribery, blackmail, and covert deals. Chinese diplomats also use both open, naked economic pressure, and seemingly independent middlemen, to push China’s preferences on American officials.... [Further,] Chinese diplomats are aggressively urging support for China’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis....” (Of note, the FBI has cited, in the past, as their classic case of “naked economic pressure” by diplomats to be their donations of PPE to U.S. communities, calculated to induce a sense of gratitude amongst unsuspecting Americans.) Wray went on at length with his “illustration”: Say someone wants to visit Taiwan and China wants to prevent it. So, they approach a governor, state senator or member of Congress, since “China has leverage over the American officials’ constituents.” They might threaten to “take it out on a company from that official’s home state by withholding the license to manufacture in China.” Then, Wray’s flight-forward: China

“cannot stop there [with that conveyed threat] if it wants to stay in power, so it uses its leverage even more prodigiously.... China will work relentlessly to identify the people closest to that official, the people that official trusts the most.... The co-opted middlemen may then whisper in the official’s ear” without declaring that “they are being used as pawns, because they, too, have been deceived....”

There’s no recourse but to bring in the FBI to sort out matters.

Wray focused upon the devious “so-called Thousand Talents Program” (TTP) of China which “pays scientists to secretly bring our knowledge and innovation back to China.” He gave three examples of the FBI tracking down TTP scientists, though none of them seemed to actually be part of the TTP. (Wray employed lawyerly verbiage to suggest that they were, by saying they had “applied to” the program.) However, later on, Wray found some actual participants in the TTP: a “former researcher with the Cleveland Clinic who worked on the genetics of cardiovascular disease” who had to be arrested; an Emory University professor who pled guilty, that his grant from the TTP program wasn’t reported as income on his tax return; and the chair of Harvard’s Department of Biology, arrested for allegedly making false statements to the FBI.

Otherwise, Wray explained that:

1. China’s Fox Hunt campaign is not about tracking down corruption but is actually a Gestapo-like operation to target their critics in the U.S. They even “sent an emissary to visit the target’s family ... [asking them to forward the message that] the target had two options, return promptly or commit suicide.”

2. Their Confucius Institutes were blatant “efforts to censor” anti-China speech or to “drive China-friendly speech in a decidedly unorthodox way....”

3. Huawei’s founder, according to some article Wray had read, told his staff, that to “ensure the company’s survival, they need to surge forward, killing as you go, to blaze us a trail of blood.” (In fact, Wray simply repeated a headline from the oh-so-authoritative London Daily Mail, which itself was based upon a mistranslation by the Wall Street Journal of the Chinese characters for an idiomatic expression that meant, “Fight your way out” of a difficult situation.) And finally,

4. If you dare to use Huawei’s cell phones, they can spy on you—unlike the U.S., as the FBI director explained, where electronic privacy is “sacrosanct.”

Wray concluded that China uses “an all tools, all sectors” approach, and we need to counter with the same. “Our folks at the FBI are working their tails off.... We are using a broad set of techniques ... [including] intelligence capabilities.... We are working more closely than ever with partner agencies here in the U.S. and partners abroad. We can’t do it on our own. We need a whole society response.” However, while he believes most Americans mean to be patriotic, when “some of these non-state actors conceal their relationship with the Chinese government, the employers, companies and universities cannot make the informed decisions” required. So, when you hear “China-friendly speech,” run, don’t walk, to your local FBI office.

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