Beijing has thousands of spies, including numerous Americans, operating in the U.S., a Chinese source familiar with his country’s extensive overseas spy networks introduced.
China has at least 25,000 Chinese intelligence officers and more than 15,000 recruited agents conducting espionage operations in the U.S., Guo Wengui, a Chinese dissident residing the U.S. revealed in an interview, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Guo, a well-known Chinese billionaire and real estate investor who fled to the U.S. from China two years ago, claims he has intimate knowledge of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) and the spy divisions of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). “I know the Chinese spy system very, very well,” he explained to reporters, “I have information about very minute details about how it operates.” He has strong ties to Ma Jian, a former counterintelligence officer in the MSS, and Ji Shengde, a former military spy chief.
“I know Ma Jian had been working state security system for over 30 years,” he said in the interview. “And he was responsible for sending out spies as well as for counter espionage, also vis a vis the U.S. So, Ma Jian knows everything about the United States.”
“Before 2012, cumulatively, China had around 10,000 to 20,000 agents working in the United States,” Guo explained. “These agents had been sent to work in the United States over a 50 year period of time, and they were working in a defensive mode.”
Then, China shifted to a more offensive espionage approach.
“By offensive, I mean to be ready to destroy the U.S. in ways they can,” he told reporters. Another 5,000 spies were sent to the U.S. “Some of them were sent as students, some as businessmen, and some as immigrants,” he remarked, explaining that many more were cultivated in country. At the same time, China’s espionage budget jumped from around $600 million to somewhere between three to four billion dollars.
Guo said that Chinese spies strive to steal military technology, buy off senior officials and political and business elites, and penetrating important domestic infrastructure systems. “The scale of their operations is mind boggling,” he explained.
China is reportedly behind the theft of significant amounts of vital data on U.S. defense programs, including the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Su Bin, a Chinese businessman, pleaded guilty last March for collaborating with two Chinese intelligence agents to steal information on major U.S. defense projects over a period of several years.
While China denied any involvement, the Global Times, a deeply-nationalist publication, wrote that the Chinese people should “show gratitude and respect for his service,” adding, “On the secret battlefield without gunpowder, China needs special agents to gather secrets from the U.S.” The article went on to criticize American spying operations in China, about which the Chinese government and military have expressed significant concern in recent years.
Guo claims that the U.S. is in danger because it does not realize the seriousness of the threat posed by Chinese espionage activities. “The United States is bleeding and is unaware that sooner or later the United States will run out of blood,” he told reporters.
The Chinese government has been actively trying to silence Guo, who now resides in New York and has been releasing videos over the past few months detailing corruption in the China and overseas intelligence operations. Beijing has said that if he keeps quiet, China will unfreeze his domestic assets, which are worth an estimated $17 billion. The Chinese government has also reportedly threatened his friends and family in an attempt to prevent him from sharing what he knows.
China has also pressed the Trump administration to repatriate Guo on charges of corruption.
Guo is a potential threat to the Chinese government. “What I want to do is change the whole system. That’s what I want,” he said, “I want to change the Chinese government. Absolutely, the Chinese government is the mafia.”
“I love my nation. I love my country,” he added, “but I hate the Communist Party.”
If accurate, Guo’s claims concerning Chinese espionage activities could provide an intelligence windfall for the U.S., but his shocking revelations concerning Chinese spying in the U.S. have not been independently verified.
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