For decades, China has waged an espionage war with the United States, exploiting America’s comparatively open society and free-market economy to steal critical information, trade secrets and technology tools.
But as the coronavirus, officially termed COVID-19, continues to assault the globe – Beijing is upping its spy game on U.S. soil with a focus on manipulating the narrative, officials and experts say.
The primary focus now, according to several current and former intelligence officials interviewed by Fox News, is attempting to control the disease narrative inside the U.S. and cast the blame game anywhere but Beijing.
One U.S. defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, underscored that the Chinese focus inside the U.S. remains centered on technology theft, military readiness and minimizing the blowback.
“Most assuredly, the American people will demand some kind of financial response, if not outright reparations in the many billions,” the source explained. “And the Chinese cannot afford that, but they know Trump will cut into it, too.”
A retired Pentagon officer underscored that its media operations are in “full swing,” a slight shift from its typical focus on IP and technology theft.
“It is about saving face for them,” said the source. “It’s about leaking out false information, even to our [the U.S. intelligence] apparatus.”