Not Just Spy Balloons: The CCP’s Expansive Spy Campaign Against America

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News that the Pentagon is tracking a Chinese communist spy balloon hovering over the United States this week is raising concerns about the extent of China’s espionage efforts against America and its citizens.

But just how far is the regime willing to go in order to spy on and undermine the United States?

The espionage efforts of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China as a single-party state, go much broader and deeper than mere sensor balloons. Such efforts include human intelligence gathering, transnational repression schemes, cyber theft and hacking, intellectual property theft, and even the harvesting of Americans’ genetic material.

In the words of one retired Air Force General, “If [the CCP has] any access to American society, then they’ll use that access to undermine American society.”

HUMINT and Transnational Repression

Key among the CCP’s efforts to spy on the United States is its traditional human intelligence (HUMINT) efforts, which relies on person-to-person exchanges of information, both wittingly and otherwise.

The CCP’s HUMINT network permeates American society at many levels, with many such efforts being overseen directly by the regime’s top intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security (MSS).

One of the most infamous such cases is that of Christine Fang or “Fang Fang”, the alleged Chinese spy who posed as a university student, and fostered relationships with numerous politicians in California and elsewhere, including Rep. Eric Swalwell when he was a city council member, and used that access to collect intelligence on up and coming politicos. Fang reportedly targeted at least two Midwestern mayors with whom she had romantic or sexual relationships.

Politicians aren’t the only targets of such espionage, however. Many everyday Americans, particularly those of Chinese descent, are frequently the preferred targets of the CCP’s spy and harassment campaigns.

In such efforts, MSS agents and their U.S. proxies have allegedly stalked an American Olympic figure skater and her family, conspired with New York police officers to gather intelligence on the Asian American community, and even plotted to attack a U.S. Army veteran running for Congress in a bid to silence and intimidate people holding critical views of the CCP.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified that Chinese agents and their proxies actively stalked U.S. residents and planted bugs in their cars and homes.

By Andrew Thornebrooke

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