FBI chief says China threatens families to coerce overseas critics to return to China

By Jonathan Landay WASHINGTON (Reuters) - FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday urged China-born people in the United States to contact the FBI if Chinese officials try to force them to return to China under a program of coercion that he said is led by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Wray issued the unusual appeal in an address to a think tank in which he reiterated U.S.

Reuters July 08, 2020 00:13:34 IST
FBI chief says China threatens families to coerce overseas critics to return to China

FBI chief says China threatens families to coerce overseas critics to return to China

By Jonathan Landay

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday urged China-born people in the United States to contact the FBI if Chinese officials try to force them to return to China under a program of coercion that he said is led by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Wray issued the unusual appeal in an address to a think tank in which he reiterated U.S. charges that China is using espionage, cyber theft, blackmail and other means as part of a strategy to replace the United States as the world's dominant economic and technological power.

He said Xi has "spearheaded" a program called Fox Hunt aimed at strong-arming people born in China living outside of the country who are regarded as threats to return home in order to silence criticism of Beijing's political and human rights policies.

The families of those who refuse to return are threatened and some have been arrested in China "for leverage," he said

"Hundreds of these Fox Hunt victims that they target live here in the United States, and many are American citizens or green card holders," he continued. "The Chinese government wants to force them to return to China and China's tactics to accomplish this are shocking."

He related a case in which he said the Chinese government sent "an emissary" to visit a family in the United States of an unidentified target who could not be located. The emissary left a message that the target could chose between returning to China or committing suicide, Wray said.

"I want to take this opportunity to note that if you believe the Chinese government is targeting you, that you are a potential Fox Hunt victim, please reach out to your local FBI field office," he said.

Wray also said that almost half of nearly 5,000 active FBI counterintelligence cases now underway are related to China.

"We've now reached a point where the FBI is opening a new China-related counterintelligence case about every 10 hours," Wray said in his address to the Hudson Institute think tank.

(Reporting by Jonathan Landay, Editing by Franklin Paul and Jonathan Oatis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.