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China a Bigger Threat to US Than Russia, Says CIA Boss

The CIA chief said that the Chinese had placed its spies in schools, hospitals and the corporate world to “work against America."

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com

Updated:January 30, 2018, 4:42 PM IST
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China a Bigger Threat to US Than Russia, Says CIA Boss
In this January 23 photo, CIA Director Mike Pompeo delivers remarks at "Intelligence Beyond 2018," a forum hosted by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, in Washington. (Image: Reuters)
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New Delhi: The United States of America faces a bigger threat from China than it does from Russia, director of the CIA has said. In an interview to BBC, Mike Pompeo said that Chinese intelligence has a “much bigger footprint” to infiltrate not just the US, but also the United Kingdom and Europe as well.

“We welcome them (Chinese) and they are a very important part of the American fabric, but we can watch very focused efforts to steal American information, to infiltrate the US with spies,” he said. The CIA chief said that the Chinese had placed its spies in schools, hospitals and the corporate world to “work against America.” He further said that he had concerns about Chinese espionage and cyber-attacks, what with “in the dark world of cyber espionage, Chinese have tremendous capability there…the economy, very smart people working on the issues. So, we are mindful of the threat from Chinese cyber capabilities,” Pompeo said.

The statement comes at a time when the US investigation into Russia is still ongoing. The US Treasury late on Monday night released a long awaited list of Russian officials and business leaders eligible for sanctions under a law designed to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the election that brought Donald Trump to power.

Earlier this year, a former CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee was arrested in China on charges of retaining classified information. In the last two years, some 20 informants have been killed or jailed.

In December, US President Donald Trump had called China and Russia “main challengers that challenge American power, influence and interests.” China has previously hit back at the US, with foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying urging the United States to “stop intentionally distorting China’s strategic intentions and to abandon outdated notions such as the Cold War mentality and zero-sum game.” Russia, in response, had slammed the US for its “imperialist” character of its foreign policy.
| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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