US ‘a thief crying stop thief’ as it seeks strengthened intelligence cooperation with allies
Published: Aug 11, 2023 10:30 PM
Surveillance Empire: Cyber threat to the world. Graphic:GT

Surveillance Empire: Cyber threat to the world. Graphic:GT

The US is "a thief crying 'stop thief'" as it is the No.1 country that engages in surveillance and reconnaissance in the world, Chinese experts said as US intelligence agencies are reportedly looking to vastly expand the roster of countries, companies and even nonstate actors with whom they partner, citing a so-called increasingly complex and interconnected threat environment. They also warned of the risk of growing crises and dilemmas between different countries due to intrusive espionage activities conducted by the US-led intelligence alliance. 

The move is part of a "rethink" ordered in the new National Intelligence Strategy, unveiled Thursday, which aims to better prepare the US for a range of threats that are no longer limited to traditional nation-state competitors such as China and Russia or terrorist groups such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State group, VOA reported.

"The US faces an increasingly complex and interconnected threat environment," US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines was quoted as saying in the VOA report. She cited a range of challenges from global powers such as China and Russia, to climate change and pandemics like COVID-19.

The newly unveiled National Intelligence Strategy seeks to counter those trends by strengthening existing intelligence partnerships, including the "Five Eyes" arrangement with Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and by forging new ones, according to VOA. 

The intelligence alliance of the US follows the same path as its economic and military alliances. Sharing intelligence with allies and partners is an important means or prerequisite for the US to maintain its absolute advantage in the field of intelligence, Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Friday.

Since the security concept of the US is based on disregarding or weakening the security of other countries, it also means that intrusive espionage activities conducted by the intelligence alliance between the US and its allies will inevitably trigger more crises and dilemmas among nations, Li warned. 

Under surveillance. Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

Under surveillance. Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

A thief crying 'stop thief'

As a matter of fact, the US is the No.1 country in surveillance and reconnaissance. It has long begun its plan to establish intelligence gathering and reconnaissance networks around the world by using emerging technologies. It is trying to build an absolute comparative advantage in information and intelligence competition in the fields of space, air, maritime and networks, commented Chen Xiangmiao, director of the World Navy Research Center, National Institute for South China Sea Studies. 

The US hyping other countries' threats to its state security is a behavior of a thief crying "stop thief," experts noted.  

The Chinese state security authority on Friday revealed a case concerning espionage activities of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) targeting China. A suspect, surnamed Zeng born in 1971 who was an employee of a Chinese military industrial group, has been under enforcement measures after evidence was found that he was selling China's core information to the CIA.

In another case, the Global Times learned from the Wuhan Earthquake Monitoring Center in July that the center had recently suffered a cyberattack launched by an overseas organization. This is another case of its kind following the June 2022 cyberattack from overseas against a Chinese university.

The expert panel on the case found that the cyberattack was initiated by hacker group and lawbreakers with governmental backgrounds from outside the country. Preliminary evidence suggests that the government-backed cyberattack on the center came from the US, the Global Times has learned.

The US government has not only carried out large-scale, systematic and indiscriminatory cyber espionage against other countries in the world, but also attempted recently to deploy cyber forces to relevant countries in the name of capacity-building cooperation to infiltrate these countries' cyber systems, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a response released on Thursday to an inquiry asking for comments on WikiLeaks' report that the US carried out cyber espionage against 35 Japanese targets, including some members of the Japanese cabinet.

The US has even resorted to media and other forms of disinformation about so-called "Chinese hackers" in order to induce or coerce relevant countries, particularly those around China, to receive US cyber force deployments, which is akin to inviting a wolf into their house, given the fact that the US leads the world in hacking technology, the spokesperson noted. 

This not only endangers their own cybersecurity, but also turns themselves into a bridgehead or springboard for US government's cyber attacks against China without their knowledge, the spokesperson pointed out. 

The working style of the US in the field of intelligence is similar to its working style in the field of diplomacy, with the aim of ensuring that the US can engage in espionage activities against other countries and maintain overwhelming intelligence advantages, making every effort to prevent other countries from competing with the US in this field, Li Haidong noted. 

Such concepts and practices are very American. The US wants to establish a unique position in the global intelligence field with its technological and manpower advantages, making it difficult for other countries to match its capabilities, and achieve the effect of monitoring other countries while being immune to surveillance from other countries, or at least strive to achieve such an effect, Li said. 

He noted that this is indeed an unhealthy concept as the US sacrifices the security of other countries to satisfy its own security demands.