Donald Trump often speaks about American jobs being lost to China. But how about the all jobs that are kept here in the U.S. where the employer is China? Is that a concern? Maybe so considering China has spent more than $100 billion since 2000, buying or making significant investments in 1,900 U.S. companies. And the investments are getting bigger and more accelerated.
Two months ago we published an article about how the Chinese are buying up real estate here in the United States at a rapid pace. Tact on this: In the first quarter of 2016, Chinese firms had $30 billion in pending or completed deals, according to Stephen Orlins, head of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
Chinese acquisitions now make up more than one-fifth of all foreign purchases or significant investments in the U.S.
One major concern is that many of the Chinese purchasers are either state-owned or have close government ties in Beijing. And yet, they are responsible for almost 100,000 American jobs.
John Schindler, a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer who specializes in espionage and terrorism, is voicing concern about how Chinese espionage is growing both online and offline, and how it represents a serious threat to American security and prosperity.
John Schindler: ” Cyber theft and online pilfering of American intellectual property was castigated as “the greatest transfer of wealth in history” by the director of the National Security Agency back in 2012, and things have only gotten worse since then, with China taking the lead in stealing our secrets for profit and strategic advantage. Last year, the FBI reported a shocking rise of 53 percent in economic espionage, with the “vast majority” of those cases originating in China. Using immigrants to enable such theft is a serious problem, as evidenced by the recent case of a wealthy Chinese entrepreneur who moved to Canada, where he assisted hackers back in China with stealing Pentagon secrets, particularly relating to advanced aircraft designs.
Beijing’s interest in our secrets extends far beyond national security and advanced technology. Chinese espionage aims at many sectors of our economy, even agriculture. Our government recently warned farmers to be wary of Chinese businessmen showing interest in genetically engineered seed and other commercial secrets—they may be spies. In January, Mo Hailong, one of six Chinese nationals Federal authorities accused of digging up seeds from Iowa farms to send back to China, pleaded guilty in a case that the Justice Department treated as a national security matter—not a normal criminal prosecution. This agricultural espionage ring was acting at Beijing’s direction, according to authorities familiar with the case, constituting the norm these days as Chinese spies seek any commercially valuable secrets they can pilfer from unsuspecting Americans.”
So, the argument is the more Chinese-backed companies here in the U.S., the more the risk. But Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo claims there is no reason for concern. “The U.S. government has a clear process in place to ensure the United States is protected,” the Wichita Republican said. He did not provide further detail.
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