Panel: Chinese Spies Stealing U.S. Secrets

Congressional Advisory Panel’s Annual Report Calls China’s Espionage “Aggressive”

CBS News
Washington
November 19, 2009

(AP) A U.S. congressional advisory panel said Thursday that Chinese spies are aggressively stealing American secrets to use in building Beijing’s military and economic strength.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission also said in its annual report to lawmakers that Beijing is building a navy that could block the U.S. military from getting to the region if fighting should break out between China and Taiwan, the self-governing island off China’s southeastern coast that China claims as its own.

The report follows President Barack Obama’s visit this week to China, where he had extensive talks with President Hu Jintao. The commission tends to take a tougher stance on China than either Mr. Obama or his predecessor, George W. Bush. Mr. Obama wants to nurture ties with a country the United States needs to deal with some of the world’s toughest crises, including nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea, climate change and global economic recovery.

The commission, set up by Congress in 2000 to advise, investigate and report on U.S.-China affairs, said U.S. officials believe Chinese spying is “growing in scale, intensity and sophistication.”

“China is the most aggressive country conducting espionage against the United States,” the report said.

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