Thursday, June 20, 2024
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China’s growing threat to U.S. national security in the crosshairs of Congress



(The Center Square) – While the Chinese Communist Party’s possibly imminent invasion of Taiwan could spark a war in the region, experts and lawmakers in Congress on Thursday expressed that the Taiwan issue is just one part of a broader Chinese strategy countering the U.S.

U.S.House lawmakers raised the alarm about the Chinese communist government’s threat to the U.S. via cyber security and the border crisis at two separate hearings Thursday.

House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability held a hearing on the explosion in the number of Chinese nationals entering the U.S. via the southern border since President Joe Biden took office.

“This is a national security concern, and it’s not a new one,” U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop, R-Texas, chair of the committee, said to open the hearing.

“Unfortunately, under the Biden administration, border patrol agents have been instructed that when processing Chinese nationals, they should conduct short, basic interviews that include only generic background questions instead of in-depth interviews,” he continued. “In other words, there is no serious vetting.”

California has seen the most migrants come in, and the number overall has soared in recent years.

The influx of illegal immigrants from one of the U.S.’ greatest rivals has raised national security concerns. In fact, as The Center Square previously reported, FBI Director Christopher Wray last month told attendees at an American Bar Association’s Committee on Law and National Security that China was the “defining threat of our generation.”

Wray pointed to China’s “traditional espionage and economic espionage, foreign malign influence, election interference, and transnational repression – often working in tandem.

“They recruit human sources to target our businesses, using insiders to steal the same kinds of innovation and data their hackers are targeting,” he added. “They’re engaging in corporate deception.”

The flood of Chinese migrants, many of whom entered undetected and were never processed or vetted at all, could be engaged in helping China in those efforts, experts say.

In one illustrative moment, a Chinese national illegal immigrant was caught at a Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona, near the southwest border.

Chinese hacking is also a persistent issue facing the U.S. The Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation also held a hearing Thursday on China’s cyber threats.

Former Special Assistant to the President and White House Cybersecurity Coordinator William Evanina testified at the hearing that China’s threat should not be underestimated.

“The CCP’s capabilities and intent are second to none as an adversary,” Evanina said. “Cyber breaches, insider threats, surveillance and penetrations into our critical infrastructure have all been widely reported and we have become numb to these episodes, as a nation. Add in the CCP’s crippling stranglehold on so many aspects of our supply chain and what results is an imbalance and domestic vulnerability of unacceptable proportions.”

While China’s use of the popular social media app Tik-Tok for spying has grabbed headlines, china’s cyber efforts are far more wide-reaching than that app alone and are part of a larger strategy.

“When we move to new areas of the CCP’s actions to include surveillance balloons, technical surveillance stations in Cuba, maritime cranes, Huawei, TikTok, strategic land purchases, foreign influence, etc., the collage begins to paint a bleak mosaic,” he added.