During the coronavirus press conference today, a reporter asked President Trump about reports of China trying to steal technology:

Recent reports confirm that Chinese hackers are trying to steal technology for a coronavirus vaccine:

“Cyber-attacks have become a new flashpoint between the US and China. Top US agencies are preparing to issue a stern warning urging China to stop stealing research on COVID-19 vaccine. Everybody involved in finding a cure for the deadly virus will be alerted, including hospital labs.”

In recent years, the federal government has alerted colleges and universities (see below) to attempts by the Chinese government to infiltrate campuses with a large contingent of Chinese students. It’s not news that China has stolen our technology (see below) in the past, but now they are using different methods.

President Trump acknowledged this news today:

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“There are a variety of reports that Chinese hackers are attempting to steal technology related to vaccine research..”

President Trump responded: “What else is new with China… I am not happy with China.”

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In April of last year, federal officials warned colleges about the huge potential for China to send “thousands” of its citizens to the US to commit “economic espionage”:

“Boston is a target rich environment” – DOJ Officials

Federal officials are warning colleges that they are a target and to beware of the potential for Chinese spies committing “economic espionage”. They are confirming that Chinese intelligence services have sent “thousands” of people to U.S. colleges:

“At the Justice Department, 90 percent of our cases involving espionage, economic espionage, involve China, and 65 percent of our trade secrets cases involve Chinese companies or Chinese nationals. A significant portion of what we’re seeing on the economic espionage side is and originates from the Chinese government.” – John Demers, Justice Department 

Andrew Lelling, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, told reporters Friday:

“This isn’t about targeting everyone who’s a Chinese national. But there are thousands who are directly linked to a state-sponsored effort to steal intellectual property.”

The Justice Department calls the threat  “economic espionage” and confirms it harms America’s national security and economy

John Demers, the assistant attorney general at the Justice Department voiced concerns about students and visiting professors: “The message to all the schools is: One, be aware that you are a target. Universities also have a lot of people coming in and out: students, visiting professors who are here for a year … You may not know the folks there as well as you do maybe in a company.”

According to the most recent State Department data, more than 363,000 Chinese students studied in the U.S. in 2017-2018, nearly a third of all international students enrolled at U.S. institutions.

The Washington Examiner reports:

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned last year that China was using “nontraditional” intelligence collectors to launch a “whole-of-society” threat against the U.S. Those worries found an echo among lawmakers who worry that Chinese educational programs are platforms for propaganda and influence operations, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been warning European allies that Chinese tech giants such as Huawei and ZTE are also being used as spy assets.

While the Democrats scream “Russia, Russia, Russia”, the real problem is with China. President Trump has been right on target with his assessment of the threat from China.

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