House Republicans investigate reported Chinese targeting of U.S. military bases
"The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has long used espionage as a tool to gain access to U.S. national security secrets. But the PRC’s efforts to spy on the United States has become more brazen in recent years," they warned.
House Republicans on the Oversight Committee on Monday announced they had launched a probe into reports of Chinese foreign nationals illicitly entering U.S. military bases.
Committee Chairman James Comer and National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Glenn Grothman wrote to FBI and Department of Defense seeking a briefing on the matter by Oct. 16.
"The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is conducting oversight of how and to what extent foreign nationals are accessing U.S. military bases and facilities," the pair wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. "According to a recent report, Chinese nationals, sometimes posing as tourists, have repeatedly accessed, or attempted to access, U.S. military bases and other sensitive government facilities as often as one hundred times in recent years."
"These efforts to access U.S. military bases and facilities raise concerns about what these Chinese nationals are seeking to access and for what purpose," they continued. "The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has long used espionage as a tool to gain access to U.S. national security secrets. But the PRC’s efforts to spy on the United States has become more brazen in recent years."
Comer and Grothman further cited a litany of instances in which Chinese individuals or entities engaged in suspicious activity, such as the purchase of land near sensitive military installations, and insisted that "[t]hese reports of Chinese espionage activities on U.S. soil underscore the Committee’s deepening concerns."
"The varied nature of these incidents, from clandestine intelligence facilities to espionage balloons, suggests a multifaceted approach to intelligence gathering by the PRC," they warned.
Chinese activities in the U.S. have long drawn scrutiny over possible national security concerns. Earlier this year, a suspected Chinese spy balloon made a high-profile aerial incursion across the continental U.S. before authorities shot it down off the coast of the Carolinas.
The embarrassing episode prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to postpone a planned trip to China and led to heightened public scrutiny of both the PRC and the administration's response to its activities.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.