This is one of those “make of it what you will” stories.
In July of 2020, the Trump administration began a crackdown on Chinese intelligence activities in the United States.
The Trump administration is intensifying U.S. pressure on China, piling on visa bans, sanctions and other restrictions that are battering already unsettled ties between the world’s two largest economies.
Attorney General William Barr, in a speech Thursday, warned U.S. businesses that they are at risk of collaborating with a Chinese government that ultimately seeks to supplant them in its expanding state-run economy. Administration officials are also discussing banning travel by China’s Communist Party members and their families to the U.S., people familiar with the matter said.
Discussions are in early stages, with no timeline for being put into effect, the people said. If put into policy, advisers and policy analysts said the ban would strike at the legitimacy of the increasingly powerful party.
The administration has amped up a broader confrontation with Beijing in recent weeks by imposing sanctions on a member of the Communist Party leadership, signing legislation that targets other Chinese officials and holding full-scale military exercises in the South China Sea.
The Democrat-controlled media attributed this to Trump’s poll numbers and alleged failings in confronting the Wuhan virus, and Beijing’s hirelings made a point of quoting Chinese sources making this baseless allegation:
Behind the scenes, senior Chinese officials seem to have little desire to escalate the tensions even further, concerned that any moves could play into President Trump’s hands as he mounts his re-election campaign. A highly visible showdown with China could distract Americans from Mr. Trump’s botched response to the pandemic and allow him to campaign as a leader who is defending his country against a foreign power.
“This is a classic game, to find an external distraction and rouse the people behind the president,” said Lau Siu-kai, a senior Beijing adviser on Hong Kong issues.
While the move may have come too late, it was clearly justified. For a couple of decades, China has bought its way into the very fabric of American economic and political life. Many of our major research universities are awash in Chinese money and Chinese researchers. Intellectual property is stolen or given up under coercive circumstances. After the breach of Office of Personnel Management files by Chinese hackers that was made public in 2015, there is no telling how many senior US bureaucrats are now Chinese assets. Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein had a Chinese agent as her personal driver for years (see How the FBI Let a Chinese Spy Skate to Protect This Powerful Democrat). A Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee had a sexual liaison with a Chinese intelligence agent (see While Eric Swalwell Was Sleeping With a Chinese Spy Adam Schiff Put Him in Charge of CIA Oversight. New Information Indicates Democrat Eric Swalwell Is Lying About Breaking Ties With Chinese Honeytrap, and Jim Sciutto Gives Eric Swalwell a Tongue Bath (NTTAWWT) Instead of Holding Him Accountable for His Compromise by Chinese Intelligence). Our CIA appears to be riddled with Chinese assets. Mainstream US publications run multipage Chinese advertising specials and then, mysteriously, defend China from attacks.
One of the big moves was directed against Chinese researchers who had ties to the Chinese government, particularly the Chinese military and had concealed those ties.
Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, said in a speech this month that the agency was opening a new China-related counterintelligence investigation every 10 hours. Of the examples he cited, four involved researchers in states under the jurisdiction of the Houston consulate.
On Monday, the Justice Department announced visa fraud charges against Song Chen, a visiting Stanford University researcher accused of concealing her active membership in the Chinese military. In January, the F.B.I. announced it was seeking a Boston University student, Yanqing Ye, who had hidden her affiliation with the People’s Liberation Army when applying for a visa. American officials believe Ms. Ye is in China.
In December, the U.S. authorities arrested a Chinese cancer-cell researcher, Zaosong Zheng, at Boston Logan International Airport and charged him with trying to smuggle 21 vials of stolen biological research back to China.
In April 2019, officials at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston said they were investigating several scientists for improper disclosures. The officials did not identify the scientists, two of whom had resigned. But redacted investigative reports referred to ties to China or Chinese residents or institutions.
In all, eight Chinese nationals were facing federal criminal charges for concealing their links to the Chinese military. Now all those cases have been dismissed at the request of Joe Biden’s Justice Department.
The Justice Department moved this week to drop cases that it brought last year against five visiting researchers accused of hiding their ties to China’s military, prompting questions about the department’s efforts to combat Chinese national security threats.
The department filed motions on Thursday and Friday to dismiss visa fraud and other charges it brought last summer against the researchers as the Biden administration grapples with holding Beijing accountable for its cyberattacks and its harsh crackdowns in Hong Kong and in the far western region of Xinjiang. The dismissals also come as the State Department’s No. 2 official, Wendy R. Sherman, is to meet in the coming days with Chinese officials in Tianjin, China.
What was the problem?
A federal court granted the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss Ms. Tang’s case on Friday, several weeks after a judge concluded that the F.B.I. had not informed her that she had the right not to incriminate herself and dismissed the department’s charge of making false statements.
The case was complicated by a draft F.B.I. analysis issued this year that said it could not show a clear link between people who obfuscated their ties to China, as she and the four other defendants were accused of doing, and those who illegally transferred information to the country.
A senior Justice Department official said that the analysis prompted the defense counsel to raise questions that the department could not resolve before Ms. Tang’s trial was to begin.
Axios has more:
An FBI agent’s admission he baselessly targeted a Chinese Canadian researcher in an economic espionage probe is driving calls for a federal investigation into the Justice Department’s conduct under the China Initiative.
Catch up quick: Last week, FBI agent Kujtim Sadiku said he used a Google-translated webpage to implicate Anming Hu as having ties to the Chinese military in meetings with Hu’s bosses at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
- Hu had been fired as a result, Knoxville News Sentinel reports.
- When asked if Hu was actually affiliated with a Chinese defense company, Sadiku said, “Based on that summary translation [shared with UTK] and my bullet point in my outline, no,” court transcripts show.
The government has requested the dismissal of the three remaining cases, but judges have yet to make a ruling.
How does a “law enforcement” agency manage to arrest someone and charge them with a felony and not Mirandize them? Did the agents involved miss that day at the FBI Academy? How does a US attorney’s office and the FBI charge someone with a crime and obtain an indictment without any evidence they committed the crime alleged? A Google Translate output is considered sufficient evidence to charge someone with a crime?
This is simply not plausible. Even I don’t believe the FBI is this stupid and corrupt…well, maybe I do, but I also believe they are more cunning than this story indicates. To me, this smells like a deliberate effort to blow up the prosecution of these cases and to poison the well so that future prosecutions will be exponentially more difficult. I’m sure none of this has anything to do with Hunter Biden’s ties to China and the vast quantity of compromising material (I guess all the smart kids at the New York Times will have to learn how to say “kompromat” in Mandarin) rumored to be in the hands of Chinese intelligence.
The corrupt FBI is too busy hunting down MAGA grandmas and spying on Tucker to investigate communist Chinese spies. https://t.co/Cte9n4ocsQ
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) July 24, 2021