FBI intelligence activities against China will backfire

By Zhang Han Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/30 20:53:46

Consulting wrong persons drives US to McCarthyism, will backfire

The FBI's J. Edgar Hoover headquarters building in Washington. Photo: AP

Amid increasing China-US tensions, the FBI issued a notice in Chinese to recruit translators, indicating the intelligence camp is accelerating its targeted attacks on Chinese people, analysts said on Thursday, warning that collecting wrong and outdated information from people with limited knowledge of today's China will lead to extreme policies and dangerous McCarthyism. 

The FBI issued the recruitment notice in mid-July on Twitter to encourage US citizens who speak Chinese to "share expertise in language and culture." The account is also recruiting people who speak other languages such as Arabic.  

The FBI has the tradition of recruiting people who speak foreign languages for its intelligence work and currently employs almost 1,400 linguists working at 114 offices in the US and abroad, according to a non-affiliated website fbiagentedu.org, which says it prepares people for careers in intelligence services. But recruiting Chinese speakers amid the current bilateral confrontations signals targeted attacks on Chinese in the US, trying to intimidate them and obstruct people-to-people exchanges to accelerate the decoupling, analysts said. 

FBI director Christopher Wray in early July claimed that China posed the greatest long-term threat to US information and intellectual property, and economic vitality, citing COVID-19 vaccine as an example. 

The remarks, as well as frequent media reports, prove that intellectual property and theft of sensitive information have become omnipotent charges the FBI uses to attack Chinese students and scientists, observers said. 

The FBI's smears and harassment have incited anti-China sentiments and the ghost of McCarthyism has returned to the US, encouraging anti-Communist political persecutions and plotting to frame innocent people, Wang Qiang, a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Military Operations Other Than War of the PLA National Defense University, told the Global Times on Thursday.  

With more Chinese translators, the FBI will be able to fabricate more cases to demonize Chinese students and researchers, he said. 

Li Haidong, a professor at Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, said that intelligence agencies are usually low-profile. When the FBI frequently appears in media reports and makes espionage charges against China, it is serving the Trump administration's confrontational strategy and will intensify discrimination against Chinese people in the country. 

A PhD candidate at the University of Texas (UT), Austin, told the Global Times on condition of anonymity that the school had informed them that FBI, amid the closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston, was about to contact researchers about the alleged role of the Chinese government illegally procuring research from US universities, including those about the vaccine.  

"It's ridiculous… they [FBI] are obviously making up a charge and then digging into the earth to find 'evidence' to prove that. They are picturing us as thieves and spies," the student said. 

Wang noted that Wray was being antagonistic to China and playing a new cold war card to earn himself political capital when the method proved feasible after former head of intelligence organization the CIA Mike Pompeo  assumed the position of Secretary of State. 

Analysts noted that a hawkish head of the agency, together with employees who, except for being able to speak Chinese, have little understanding of the country, can barely make reliable and fair judgments about China. 

The UT student said that he could expect there will be applicants for the FBI posts as many Americans who speak Chinese are people who emigrated to the US in 1980s and 1990s, as well as their children, plus some non-native speakers. 

"Many second-generation Chinese I have contacted with learn about China only from their parents and seldom return to China. They've been in the US for too long, are imbued with the US superiority and don't really understand today's China," the student said.

This is the situation of Miles Yu Maochun, who left China for the US in the 1980s and is reportedly behind the Trump administration's new cold war policies against China. 

Yu has a hostile attitude toward the Communist Party of China (CPC) and seldom returned to his home country over the past decades. Yu's outdated and wrong notions will cause the US to make a wrong analysis of Chinese society and extreme suggestions on policy. 

Relying on outdated perceptions of China is dangerous because it leads to extreme policies and fuels anti-China sentiments, making diplomatic methods to address differences and conflicts impossible, analysts said. 

For a long time, China-US exchanges, both economic and cultural, have benefitted both countries. The anti-China fervor will only backfire, Wang said, noting that China should fortify itself against US espionage and sit back and watch how their farce plays out. 

Even Wray, in his July speech, admitted that US society is "better for their [Chinese students and researchers] contributions."  

Analysts also pointed out that US charges against China was a thief crying "Stop Thief" considering its infamous record of monitoring the leaders of its allies, confiscation of international travelers' personal devices, and its hacking of Chinese government and company networks. 

Newspaper headline: FBI ups intelligence activities against China


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