On Thursday, Washington “should not treat everyone as a spy,” China’s State Department said after senior U.S. security officials revealed that more than 1,000 Chinese researchers had fled the country in the wake of the Justice Department’s raid against espionage activities.
According to John Demers, head of the DOJ’s National Security Department, the U.S. government has succeeded in disrupting “a significant amount of malicious Chinese activity” over the past two to three years.
” In the eyes of some, there is only hate, division and confrontation,” Chinese State Department spokesman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular press conference. “The US should not treat everyone as a spy.”
At a virtual summit hosted by the Aspen Institute think tank on Wednesday, Demers said the recent crackdown by the Ministry of Justice began this summer with the arrest of “five or six” Chinese researchers who failed to disclose their membership in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army when applying for visas for the U.S.
Demers called it the “tip of the iceberg” as the government stepped up its efforts to disrupt Chinese economic and political espionage in America.
There is “no question” that the research students were ordered by Beijing to hide their military affiliation, Demers said, noting that the department’s work included dozens of interviews and eventually led to the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston.
“More than 1,000 Chinese researchers who were members of the PLA have since left the country,” Demers said at the event, which he attended with the government’s head of national counterintelligence, William Evanina.
Only China has the “resources and the ability and will” to carry out the scale of the malicious activities witnessed by the Ministry of Justice, he added.
Hua called the accusations “ridiculous” and said that Washington lacked self-confidence.
She said that “extreme anti-Chinese forces” in the U.S. government were guilty of “ideological bias” and “political repression. There were also attempts to end civil cultural exchange between China and the United States, she added.
At the same Aspen Institute meeting, Evanina, the director of the U.S. National Center for Counterintelligence and Security, supported Demers’ report on researchers affiliated with the PLA, saying, “They are all coming here at the behest of the Chinese government.
Chinese agents have already targeted members of the new Biden government, Evanina said. He also spoke of passing U.S. intelligence information about Chinese espionage activities to NATO partners in Europe.
China blows Trump’s “political repression” over US visa restrictions
After the Trump administration called Chinese state news organizations “foreign missions” in February, Beijing reacted by excluding journalists from the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
In the summer, the U.S. government added others to its list, including the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV and the Communist Party’s People’s Daily and Global Times newspapers.
China Daily, which is distributed in English in the United States, was among the first round of news organizations classified as a security risk in February.
In an editorial on Wednesday, the newspaper called US policy a “resurgence of McCarthyism.
On the same day, the State Department imposed new visa restrictions on more than 90 million CCP members and their immediate families.
According to the New York Times, Chinese citizens with party affiliations are now only granted 30-day single entry visas, probably affecting some 270 million people.