In rare joint statement, FBI and MI5 raise alarms about Chinese espionage

Representational image | Reuters

The head of the FBI and the leader of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency raised alarms Wednesday about the Chinese government, warning business leaders that Beijing is determined to steal their technology for competitive gain.

FBI Director Christopher Wray reaffirmed previous concerns in denouncing economic espionage and hacking operations by China as well as the Chinese government’s efforts to stifle dissent abroad. But his speech was notable because it took place at MI5’s London headquarters and alongside the agency’s director general, Ken McCallum, in an intended show of Western solidarity.

It also showed the extent to which Wray and the FBI regard the Chinese government as not only a law enforcement and intelligence challenge, but are also attuned to the implications of Beijing’s foreign policy actions.

“We consistently see that it’s the Chinese government that poses the biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security, and by ‘our’, I mean both of our nations, along with our allies in Europe and elsewhere,” Wray said.

Officials described it as the first time that leaders of the FBI and MI5 had shared a stage for a joint speech.

McCallum said the Chinese government and its covert pressure across the globe amounts to the most game-changing challenge we face.

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