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Biden’s Border Crisis Promotes Foreign Espionage in Plain Sight

Posted on Monday, July 1, 2024
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by Outside Contributor
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In March, a Chinese man wandered onto a Marine Corps base at Twentynine Palms, California. He was believed to have crossed illegally into the U.S. and was released by DHS pending a decision in his asylum application. He claimed to have been lost. 

But it isn’t that easy to stumble onto what the Marine Times called their “vast combat training installation located in the remote California desert.” Though he was apprehended, he scoped out the security at our biggest Marine base. According to the Wall Street Journal, there have been around 100 such “innocent” incidents in recent years. 

These are likely amateurs carrying out one-off espionage gigs for China. China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law demands that, “all organizations and citizens shall support, assist, and cooperate with national intelligence efforts.” 

Earlier this year, The Heritage Foundation Oversight Project filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Defense Department to see how many bases had been targets of such surveillance. To date, they have only received information from Pearl Harbor, but responses from that base alone showed multiple intrusions by Chinese nationals in the past few years. 

China has many potential amateur spies to choose from. Their Belt and Road initiative construction projects in Africa and Asia are notorious for bringing in workers from China rather than hiring locals. Chinese investment in the U.S. Northern Marianas Islands brought problems from “human trafficking to birth tourism, labor abuse, money laundering, and public corruption,” according to the commonwealth’s governor. 

Soon, these same ills may be coming to the mainland United States. Hiring thousands of Chinese nationals to work in sensitive U.S. industries or locations invites a problem that political analyst John Hulsman calls espionage “hiding in plain sight.” 

This year so far, 27,000 Chinese nationals have been apprehended at the southern border, and most of them will be released after they state a “credible fear” of persecution. If they apply, for asylum, they can get authorization to work within six months, after which Chinese-owned businesses can legally hire them. 

You couldn’t invent a cheaper, faster, less scrutinized foreign work-visa program if you tried. 

Two recent articles in the Wall Street Journal highlight concerns. 

First, there is the Hotel Rössli in Unterbach, Switzerland. It overlooks an airbase where the Swiss want to keep F-35 jets bought from the U.S. The hotel was bought by Chinese investors, the Wang family, although they had no idea how to run an inn, closed the restaurant, and spent most of their time back in China. It is hardly speculating to suggest that China might be interested in acquiring access to property only 100 yards from where state-of-the-art F-35’s will be kept. 

Second, there is a risk from Chinese-owned companies that service our undersea cables. The first undersea cables were laid in the 1860s, and even today almost all internet traffic flows through undersea fiberoptics. The cables are vulnerable, as the U.S. demonstrated by secretly tapping into Soviet cables in the Cold War. 

China may now be using the same playbook against us. S.B. Submarine Systems—a Chinese company—reportedly turned off the Automatic Identification System (AIS) location devices on several ships servicing undersea cables for days at a time. 

Deliberately turning off AIS is almost always an indicator of nefarious activity—usually sanctions-evasion—and was “unusual for commercial cable ships and lacked clear explanation,” according to the Wall Street Journal.  

Cables carrying internet traffic are important to the national economy and present convenient targets for sabotage in time of conflict. Even if they aren’t yet physically touching cables, the fact that Chinese-owned vessels and crew are servicing America’s underseas cables means that Beijing knows the location of critical infrastructure. 

And by owning land near cable landing sites, Chinese firms can access cables before they reach the sea floor. 

A May 9 hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee highlighted how Chinese nationals are exploiting our porous southern border to illegally enter the United States. They are not vetted for criminal records back home, nor ties to the Chinese army or intelligence services. This allows our main adversary a steady supply of possible espionage assets.

With their families still back home, many Chinese illegally living in the U.S. are subject to pressure from the long arm of the Chinese government even if they aren’t active agents. 

One step to improve security would be to require Chinese to go through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, in which applicants remain abroad pending acceptance as refugees.

Another would be to require the Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review any firm hiring paroled or asylum-seeking Chinese for national security concerns. 

The administration should take these steps quickly. Otherwise, China’s strategy of espionage in plain sight will slowly create the potential to sow havoc at Beijing’s command when the time is ripe. 

Simon Hankinson is a Senior Research Fellow in the Border Security and Immigration Center at The Heritage Foundation.

Reprinted with Permission from The Heritage Foundation – By Simon Hankinson

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AMAC or AMAC Action.

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PaulE
PaulE
12 days ago

Nearly four years after the soft coup that installed Old Joe in the Oval Office and we’re still getting “The administration should take these steps quickly” type articles, which we all know won’t get implemented by the regime in power. The Democrats have their own agenda for the United States, and it doesn’t include either securing the border or protecting national security. Just the opposite actually, if we want to be completely honest. What the Democrats’ agenda does include is continuing the transformational process of turning this nation into another failed and bankrupt socialist Utopia as quickly as possible. All so elections can be dispensed with or reduced to just pure theater conducted every few years for global PR, and the Democrats can rule forever as the authoritarian Marxists that they are.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
11 days ago

“A prosperous China is good for America!”- John Kerry. How good is it now, Mr. Hienz? China is our next war… and why not? WE FUNDED IT.

Kim
Kim
12 days ago

“…’Credible fear’ of persecution”…Ha!! These Chinese invaders are here on demand by the CCP, so, of course, they’re going to ask for asylum…so they can report back to their bosses what they’ve discovered. OUTRAGEOUS!! He wandered into a marine base in the California desert?! Duh; isn’t everyone suspicious? That man should be locked up for a long time and the base needs to beef up its security. Is common sense not being served anymore?

I’m fast approaching “Close the border to everyone, except those with squeaky clean records and those who intend to contribute to our economy”…especially people coming from not-so-friendly nations. Any way the Chinese can cheat the system, they will. We’re stupid for trusting them and assuming they won’t harm us.

Thinking
Thinking
11 days ago

The invaders from China crossing our Southern Border, criminals or not, are welcomed with open arms, supported with cash, phones and housing and jobs and health care and education. President of the USA is treated as a criminal while there is no proof he ever committed a crime. They rely on liars and greedy people to convict him. Only the Chinese are doing us harm. Compared to the President who wants to Make America Great Again for the people. Only the dems governing us today they are Anti America and are running America into the ground and at the same time replace its citizens with the Invaders.

Splish_Splash
Splish_Splash
11 days ago

WELL, BIG DUH!
THIS BARELY SCRATCHES THE SURFACE OF ALL THAT IS GOING ON AT OUR BORDER!

David
David
11 days ago

I think every anti Trump person should watch the movie Telefon and then decide if opening the border is a good idea but then again 2001 should have been enough reason not to repeat the stupidity of letting this nation become vulnerable again.

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
11 days ago

Thousands of military-aged Chinese have been entering the country! China controls who goes in and out of THEIR country so these men aren’t average “immigrants.” Why are they coming here? (We all know why.) Also they are running the marijuana sales and distributions in several states which stupidly legalized “recreational use.” And of course they are financing fentanyl distribution as well.
Do you suppose that SOMEONE is getting paid off to allow all this to happen? [That’s a rhetorical question!]

Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson
11 days ago

talk about “collusion!” Slo Jo the Pedo and his band of criminals are allowing wholesale treason to run amok all over our country!!!! MAGA MAGA MAGA

uncleferd
uncleferd
11 days ago

It has become crucial to take control of this republic away from Biden. He has no idea what he needs to do, or where to start. In addition, what he HAS done is the “work” of an incorrigible degenerate.

Bob L.
Bob L.
11 days ago

Nothing new today. Back 30 years ago, a ChiCom dignitary on a guided tour at Los Alamos “got separated from the tour and lost”, winding up in a high security area alone.
Not much, if anything secret within our government is very secure and hasn’t been for decades. Even our allies spy on us. The group of people most left out of the know of the inner workings within our government are us citizens.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase
10 days ago

Why does it take extended legal action for our legislative oversight committees to get answers and documents from government bureaucrats? That in itself should be criminal as it prevents the government working in a Constitutional manner. Hard to tell which is worse; Executive branch or deep state! In this administration the case is surely the Executive branch in collusion with the deep state.

Lauramerrone
Lauramerrone
11 days ago

I don’t think the current administration will do anything… Hope Trump gets back I there or we are really screwed…

Ray Doyle LFP, WA
Ray Doyle LFP, WA
11 days ago

of course. all democrats are anti-america and pro any other country. espionage and open borders are just part of their world view.

Moonpup
Moonpup
10 days ago

Along with the “vast combat training installation located in the remote California desert” practically every military base where I was stationed or visited had large areas dedicated to ranges and/or impact areas. People who “wander” onto military installations “by accident” need to have another accident. With all the area available, a 2 1/2′ x 8′ hole wouldn’t even be noticed and, if these people disappeared, It might serve “Pour encourager les autres”. Always knew that my time with NATO would come in handy.

Denise
Denise
10 days ago

O’Biden was vice prez to Barack Hussein Obama who first obliterated our border, who has been seen and photographed numerous times at the Whitehouse over the rambling Biden’s 3 plus years, does anyone actually think these “visits” were about drinking tea and discussing the latest Wall street numbers??…..why is this never, ever discussed?? Do folks actually think this addlepated Biden has been acting on his own? That he’s really been “running the White House”? Is it really so unbelievable that Hussein has used his less than coherent “vice prez” to continue with a 3rd. term in office continuing the destruction of this once Constitutional Republic??
Why hasn’t any conservative news source done a deep dive into this very real, and dangerous possibility? This Obama who opined in a presidential stumping speech; “I’m going to fundamentally change America.” And the sheep, no doubt excited to be the “first to elect a black man”…actually half and half…applauded their little hearts out. Our nation is at the breaking point. Republicans, with precious few exceptions, are just going along to get along and have frankly turned into so much mush. Patrick Henry a man of strength and principle, integrity, and even when ill still fought to bring this Constitutional Republic to life, would be so sickened he might now wonder if it was all worth it. How many contact their Republican representatives and give ’em hell? How many citizens write, call, e-mail, snail mail? How many have been put on “watch lists” and classified as an enemy of the state? Add to that how many have gone after democrats in their states and raised hell? If not why not? Has America become so complacent that it no longer cares? Add to that the most egregious disregard….a nation that by and large has turned it’s back on the God Who brought together the men and women who fought to establish it. Where are they now?
Yeah, I have been on the CBI’s list (Colorado Bureau of Investigation) for over 25 years as an enemy of the state, told to me by my late friend, our County Sheriff…well, I’m still breathing free air and at almost 79 give a rip about shutting up. Any takers?

Kjhanover
Kjhanover
11 days ago

Biden’s giving us up to this NWO. There are 2 countries that ARE NOT in it. Guess which ones? I’ll help you out…Russia and China.
What’s that tell you about who’s gonna be ruling us?

Septimus Pretorius
Septimus Pretorius
10 days ago

biden, biden, biden…all of the democrats have an equal share of blame allowing the overthrow of America’s southern boarder.
All of the illegal immigrants and possibly terrorists are being cultivated to vote for the hand that feeds them.

jerry
jerry
6 days ago

So, the chicken is leaving the White House after letting the fox in.

John Shipway
John Shipway
12 days ago

So………a Chinese family bought an inn in………Switzerland and we are supposed to believe it was all to steal secrets about the F35…….our “premier” fighter-bomber. This is an aircraft that has been in constant development for the better part of 40 years and what is it famed for? Regularly falling from the skies and thus keeping with current American standards is a laughable failure the taxpayers have spent tens of billions on. In a way it;s a flying version of the Iraq war. Which one? Take your pick, both like the F35 were losing endeavors.
If the Chinese did manage to get info on the F-35 that information most likely centered around what to avoid when building a multi purpose aircraft.

John Shipway
John Shipway
11 days ago

China wants to steal our military “secrets”? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Ask that midget Nazi enabler Zelensky how well Americas “latest and greatest” military hardware is faring in Ukraine.
For Gods sake, if we intend on making China an enemy because we have grown too fat, entitled and lazy to compete with them, then by all means let them see our paper tiger made military hardware. If we are lucky, and we will need to be, perhaps the Chinese will adopt our equipment made for 30 years ago conflicts against desert dwellers that wear sandals and thus be as weak and embarrassing as Americas military is.
Heck, all we are capable of doing on a military basis is slaughter women and children or ship off our hardware to assist the demonic Israelis to do so.
Oh, and another thing. Years ago my friends and I would regularly drive up to Ft Hood, probably renamed Ft. Butterfly now, and hop a fence or two and watch the nighttime tank exercises…..OOOHHHH…..we were barely shaving age, but my goodness the “secrets” we gathered watching the neato lights and listening to the REALLY loud explosions of the dummy rounds.
Crap articles like this are scribbled to keep we the people scared because a scared society is so laughably easy to control..

Secret Service agents rush Donald Trump off the stage.(AP: Evan Vucci)
President Joe Biden greets President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at the Filoli Estate in Woodside, California.(Official White House Photo by Carlos Fyfe)
President Joe Biden speaks on the phone with Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to discuss his approval of a FEMA disaster declaration in response to the impacts of Hurricane Beryl, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

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