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China-U.S. Debate Over Espionage

Posted August. 11, 2003 21:46,   


Beijing and Washington are in a second round of espionage debate.

The relations between the two went sour in 1999 after U.S. House special committee released the so-called `Cox Report,` and the latest debate was sparked after Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, David Sardie claimed, ˝China will become the most avid intelligence counterpart of the U.S. in 10 to 15 years.˝

˝There are some 3,000 businesses secretly sponsored by the Chinese government and their main activities include gathering confidential information,˝ argued Sardie. ˝Tens of thousands of Chinese scholars, students and business people are in fact engaging in intelligence operations.˝

˝FBI`s claims are absurdly groundless,˝ fumed Sun Weidu, spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in U.S. ˝There are only 681 Chinese firms registered in U.S.˝

˝It is an outdated cold-war thinking to consider 50,000 Chinese students and 200,000 Chinese workers operators,˝ pointed out Cheu Zigun, chairman of Chinese college students council in U.S.

“The remarks by a high-ranking FBI official is designed to put pressure to China,˝ said daily Hwangu Shibo, an affiliate of Inmin Ilbo. ˝This is why American media outlets are now rushing to cover Chinese espionage claims.˝

According to the Chinese daily, The Washington Times reported on August 5 quoting a Pentagon official, ˝Two Chinese students at Iowa State University recently stole confidential information about special metal technology called Terepenol-D and provided it to the Chinese army.˝

˝U.S. Navy spent millions of dollar developing the technology used to detect signals sent out by a variety of weapons,˝ reported the Washington Times. ˝China is aggressively seeking to steal information about cutting-edge nuclear, missile defense and electronic warfare technologies.˝

Earlier The New York Times reported in February this year that the Chinese government is using Chinese students and scholars on exchange programs to collect information about advanced technologies. ˝To counter such intelligence operations, FBI began to recruit Chinese students and scholars in the second half of last year to use them as `moles,`˝ wrote the paper.

Yoo-Sung Hwang yshwang@donga.com