The FBI and the National Security Threat Landscape: The Next Paradigm Shift

The Director of Federal Bureau of Investigation, (FBI) Christopher Wray, recently spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations, in Washington, D.C. USA.  The following is an excerpt from his speech,  ‘The FBI and the National Security Threat Landscape: The Next Paradigm Shift’

“Economic espionage dominates our counterintelligence program. We still confront traditional espionage threats, with dead drops and covers. But economic espionage dominates our counterintelligence program.

More than ever, the adversary’s targets are our nation’s assets – our information and ideas, our innovation, our research and development, our technology. And no country poses a broader, more severe intelligence collection threat than China.

China has pioneered a societal approach to stealing innovation any way it can, from a wide array of businesses, universities, and organizations. They’re doing this through Chinese intelligence services, through state-owned enterprises, through ostensibly private companies, through graduate students and researchers, and through a variety of actors working on behalf of China.

At the FBI, we have economic espionage investigations that almost invariably lead back to China in nearly all of our 56 field offices, and they span almost every industry or sector. The activity I’m talking about goes way beyond fair-market competition. It’s illegal. It’s a threat to our economic security. And by extension, it’s a threat to our national security.

But it’s more fundamental than that. This behaviour violates the rule of law. It violates principles of fairness and integrity. And it violates our rules-based world order that has existed since the end of World War II.

Put plainly, China seems determined to steal its way up the economic ladder, at our expense. To be clear, the United States is by no means their only target. They’re strategic in their approach – they actually have a formal plan, set out in five-year increments, to achieve dominance in critical areas.

To get there, they’re using an expanding set of non-traditional methods – both lawful and unlawful – weaving together things like foreign investment and corporate acquisitions with cyber intrusions and supply chain threats.

The Chinese government is taking the long view here – and that’s an understatement. They’ve made the long view an art form. They’re calculating. They’re focused. They’re patient. And they’re persistent.”

For the full speech go to: