On Security

China's Corporate Espionage Looms Large in Its Battle With the U.S.

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Nov 6, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Deputy FBI Director David Bowdich speaks at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 1 regarding new law enforcement action against China's economic espionage activities.

Deputy FBI Director David Bowdich speaks at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 1 regarding new law enforcement action against China's economic espionage activities. U.S. authorities hope to counteract some of Beijing's spying activities, although U.S. firms could find themselves in the crossfire as China retaliates.

(ZACH GIBSON/Getty Images)

Concerns about Chinese corporate espionage are rising to the fore in the United States. Late last week, senior officials in the U.S. Department of Justice announced an initiative to counter the major threat posed by Chinese spying that has raised alarm both in Washington and farther afield. The espionage (and counterespionage) struggle between the great powers spans a number of areas, including those falling into traditional national security categories such as intelligence collection efforts that target military plans and preparations, not to mention diplomatic initiatives and stances, sanctions and trade negotiations. The U.S. government's recent release of court documents and statements has shined a light on Chinese efforts to acquire critical technologies, as well as the U.S. efforts to counter them. Such counteractions are just the latest salvo in the brewing battle between China and the United States, and given that Beijing is likely to alter its strategy in response,...

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