Other Ways China Has Spied On The US Since 2000

The U.S. government has been monitoring the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been moving over northern states over the past several days. That surveillance balloon that floated across the US before being shot down by an Air Force F-22 fighter allegedly marked the latest and most brazen communist effort by China to spy on the US.

However, what most do not know is that there have been scores of incidents in which Beijing has used a wide variety of methods to obtain intelligence, as well as military and commercial technology, from the United States.

In 2021, the Center for Strategic & International Studies think tank in Washington, DC, compiled a list of 160 incidents of Chinese espionage directed at the US since 2000. The survey showed that nefarious activity by Beijing appeared to be on the rise, with 24% occurring from 2000 through 2009 and 76% from 2010 through 2021.

The CSIS noted that its list was derived from open-source material and likely didn’t comprise the actual total number of incidents.

“It is perhaps noteworthy that of the 160 reported incidents we found, 89 occurred after [Chinese President] Xi Jinping took power,” it added.

From the Center for Strategic & International Studies:

This survey lists 160 publicly reported instances of Chinese espionage directed at the United States since 2000. It does not include espionage against other countries, against U.S. firms or persons located in China, nor more than 50 additional cases involving attempts to smuggle munitions or controlled technologies from the U.S. to China.

We also did not include the more than 1200 cases of intellectual property theft litigation brought by U.S. companies against Chinese entities in either the U.S. or Chinese legal systems.

The list is derived from open-source material and likely does not reflect the full number of incidents. Of the 160 incidents we found that 24% occurred between 2000-2009 and 76% occurred between 2010-2021.

This could reflect an increase in the number of incidents after 2009, but it may also reflect more public reporting of espionage cases, as greater attention was paid to the problem and the U.S. government became less reluctant after 2007 to publicly identify China as the perpetrator. It is perhaps noteworthy that of the 160 reported incidents we found, 89 occurred after Xi Jinping took power (84 after he became President in March 2013 and another 5 after he became Chair of the Central Military Commission in November 2012).

Read more here at the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the full list 160 publicly reported instances of Chinese espionage here.


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Fmr. Sgt, USAF Intelligence, NSA/DOD; Studied Cryptology at Community College of the Air Force

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