Federal officials say that Chinese nationals who acted like tourists and tried to get past the security of military posts and other sensitive areas could be spies. They say that about 100 cases have been recorded.
The officials said that most of the time, these things happen in rural areas where tourists don’t usually go, and the locals talk to the security guards in what sounds like rehearsed language instead of regular conversation. When people try to stop them, they say they just got lost.
The WSJ says that the Defense Department, FBI, and other agencies looked into the situation and found that the Chinese residents were forced to send the information they discovered back to the CCP.
Emily Harding, who used to be the deputy staff director for the Senate Intelligence Committee on, said the Chinese have an edge because they are willing to throw a lot of people at authorities. “Even if a few of them get caught, the U.S. government will have a hard time proving anything other than trespassing, and those who do not get caught are likely to find something useful.”
Some Chinese nationals got into military sites without permission by “speeding through security checkpoints,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Sue Gough. “These people are often charged with a crime, banned from future installation access, and led off-base,” she added.
When the Journal tried to get word from the Biden White House and the DHS, they both refused.
Liu Pengyu, a spokesperson who works for the Chinese Embassy in DC, said, “The relevant claims are nothing but malicious lies.” He then said, “We urge the relevant U.S. officials to abandon their Cold War mentality, stop making false accusations, and do more things that help build trust between the two countries.”
In one case, Chinese people who said they were tourists tried to force their way beyond guards at the Army’s 11th Airborne Division’s home base in Alaska. People from China are said to have taken many pictures of the White Sands Missile Range, which is the biggest military test range in the United States.
People from China were found swimming near a military base in Key West, Florida. They said they were vacationers. The Journal says that other Chinese people were seen scuba diving near Cape Canaveral, which is where spy satellites are launched into space.