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Head of British Intelligence Warns of ‘Epic Scale’ of China’s Espionage

Head of British Intelligence Warns of ‘Epic Scale’ of China’s Espionage

The Five Eyes intelligence agency heads only rarely meet, so the scale of spying must have scaled-up drastically.

The head of the British Intelligence Agency MI5 warns that more than 20,000 people in the United Kingdom (UK) have now been approached covertly online by Chinese spies, indicating the scale of spying is ‘epic’.

Ken McCallum was speaking to the BBC at an unprecedented public appearance of the security chiefs of the Five Eyes alliance in California.

The heads of US, UK, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand security agencies appeared together.

They did so for the first time to warn of commercial secrets being obtained by China.

Stanford University in California was chosen as the venue for the first public meeting because it lies in the heart of Silicon Valley. In both public statements and a closed session with entrepreneurs and investors, security chiefs warned that cutting-edge research is being stolen.

“We have seen a sustained campaign on a pretty epic scale,” Mr McCallum told the BBC in an interview during the event.

McCallum reported that Chinese agents approached through sites like LinkedIn to try and recruit or gain sensitive information from workers across Britain in the tech sector.

He also cited 20 instances of Chinese companies trying to gain access to “sensitive” technology developments at British companies and universities through investments or other means, usually hiding involvement through “obfuscated investment, imaginative company structures,” according to the BBC.

One such acquisition focused on a company linked to British military supply chains as well as supply chains for a number of “major Western commercial companies.”

“These technologies are at a historic moment where they are beginning to change our world in some pretty fundamental ways,” McCallum told the BBC. “And we know that authoritarian states are laser-focused on the opportunities that these technologies may present for them.”

During the meeting, FBI Director Christopher Wray asserted that China has made “economic espionage and stealing others’ work and ideas a central component of its national strategy” and positioned that strategy as happening “at the expense of innovators in all five of our countries.”

The Five Eyes heads only rarely meet, so the scale of the espionage activity must have scaled-up drastically, to the point the allied spy agencies forcefully targeted the vast amount of intellectual properly theft China has conducted.

U.S. FBI Director Christopher Wray said the “unprecedented” joint call was meant to confront the “unprecedented threat” China poses to innovation across the world.

From quantum technology and robotics to biotechnology and artificial intelligence, China was stealing secrets in various sectors, the officials said.

“China has long targeted businesses with a web of techniques all at once: cyber intrusions, human intelligence operations, seemingly innocuous corporate investments and transactions,” Wray said. “Every strand of that web had become more brazen, and more dangerous.”

I must admit, it is refreshing to see Wray target actual spies, rather than Trump supporters, Catholics, and concerned parents.

What are the reasons for the China’s espionage gambit? Following the money is a good start.

China’s real estate market is in decline. Debt deflation hangs in the air. The country’s workforce is shrinking and GDP growth is trending downwards. No wonder the International Monetary Fund at its recent shindig in Marrakech warned of slowing economic growth in the People’s Republic, raising the prospect of “Japanisation” – the prolonged economic and financial malaise that afflicted its once high-flying neighbour after an asset bubble imploded three decades ago.

The trouble is that China’s economic imbalances are far worse than Japan’s in 1990. And that’s before considering the ruinous economic consequences of President Xi Jinping’s autocratic rule.


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I’ve preached this over and over, but nobody listens or cares. EVERY Chinese student should be deported back to the motherland. Some day I know I’ll be proven right.

    txvet2 in reply to walls. | October 22, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    They won’t even try to catch and deport the illegal military age Chinese pouring in over the Mexican border, much less bother with the ones who are here legally.

      AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to txvet2. | October 23, 2023 at 9:55 am

      I saw a graphic recently regarding the number of illegal Chinese nationals crossing the US-Mexico border.


      Not to mention the thousands of university students, the purchase of agricultural property by China, the purchase of businesses near military installations, “weather balloons” floating aimlessly 😉 across our country, and more.

      But of course, pointing out that the Chinese government demands that all Chinese anywhere in the world must report information back to the CCP would be racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, agoraphobic, alphabetaphobic, pretendaphobic, psychologiphobic, and Supercalifragilistic-expialidociousphobic

      We ignore open borders at our own peril.

    TheOldZombie in reply to walls. | October 23, 2023 at 12:23 am

    From every nation in the world. Literally every Chinese student in every country in the “Five Eyes” and the rest of Europe should be ejecting them.

    Every non-citizen should be deported.

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to walls. | October 23, 2023 at 9:43 am

    You will be proven right, but by then it will be too late.

    MAJack in reply to walls. | October 23, 2023 at 11:08 am

    Last I read, there are over 300k of them. Many are spies.

    The Chinese would steal a hot stove and come back for the smoke.

I work in military aerospace, you would be surprised at the number of very attractive Chinese based women contact me on linked in.

This article reminds me of a statement made by a UK Parliament member back in the late 1950’s or early 60’s.

“Here in the UK we have one of the most successful spying organizations in the world, unfortunately it belongs to the Russian.”

Doesn’t seem anyone in our government cares, some are on the payroll

    gonzotx in reply to Skip. | October 22, 2023 at 4:44 pm

    I like the Biden family

      AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to gonzotx. | October 23, 2023 at 10:08 am


      I bet that few have looked at the amount of $$$ the CCap has given to Democrats, Republicans, Democrat-Socialists, and Democrat-Independents, since Bill Clinton and Al Gore made it a cottage industry nearly 30 years ago.

      Peel back Biden’s books, McConnell’s books, and Pelosi’s books just as a starter. Of course, Eric Swalwell would have some of his payola horizontally.

      Feinstein isn’t available for comment.

    WTPuck in reply to Skip. | October 23, 2023 at 11:48 am

    Yup. Since at least the 1970’s, when I was old enough to know what intellectual property theft was. And they knew it was happening then.

      AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to WTPuck. | October 23, 2023 at 12:46 pm

      I wasn’t but a very young teenager when Nixon opened the doors to China. I knew back then, but didn’t know why, it wouldn’t be good for the US.

      I was reminded when Clinton was receiving $$$ from them that it still wasn’t a good idea.

      Too many other reasons that won’t fit in this comment section.

        You know, for a “Republican,” Nixon was an incredible turd in the punchbowl. China. Wage and price controls. Taking the US off the gold standard. He may as well have been Dewey.

          AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to henrybowman. | October 24, 2023 at 8:24 am

          While I am not a Nixon lover, I was not a hater either.

          McGovern could have been worse.

          The time honored tradition of Monday morning quarterbacking leads us to wonder what direction the country would have gone if Nixon had not won.

          Without detente with China would the Sino-Soviet relationship grown stronger, would China have the economy it now has (with the manufacture of a high percentage of medical supplies and medicine), fingers throughout the globe, etc.?

          The Gentle Grizzly in reply to henrybowman. | October 24, 2023 at 9:55 am

          Democrats loathed him yet, all that you mention, along with Affirmative Action and other such things, he was a Democrat’s dream.

    dr. frank in reply to Skip. | October 23, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    No, it’s the National Media and Press that mouths Chinese propaganda.

Chinese espionage into our technology may be huge, but what is truly epic is their big nose stuck into every area of our government.

We’re funding CCP bioweapon gain of function research and Wray is telling us how the Chinese have penetrated our institutions.

Interesting venue. In October 2006 I had the pleasure of escorting 33 PLA generals from DC to San Francisco. We landed at moffit federal airfield in San Jose. After lunch in San Jose the head of the PLA delegation asked if we could stop at Stanford, so that some of the generals could see thier kids. 8 of them

We’ve also got to shut any Chinese consulates and all the secret jails they’ve apparently got in America.

Anything that is Chinese government in America needs to be shut down. Even property needs to be taken back. Give them compensation but take the land.

“The heads of US, UK, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand security agencies appeared together.”
I’d have more sympathy if it wasn’t for the last time they had a big-name (domestic) convocation of spooks, it was to lie about Hunter’s laptop.

“Ooh, China this and China that and China scary boo-boo!”
China, you say?
You mean NOT the goddamn Russia Russia Russians this time?