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Beijing 'front' companies spying on U.S.

China has established more than 3,000 “front” companies in the U.S. to conduct espionage and will become the United States’ greatest intelligence threat in the next decade, according to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III .

Mueller told Congress earlier this month the Chinese companies are coordinating espionage efforts against America via thousands of visitors, students and business people who visit the U.S. annually. He said each of them also have a task to perform for Beijing, reported Canada’s Asian Pacific Post.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III

“Left unchecked,” the FBI director told lawmakers, “such a situation could greatly undermine U.S. national security and U.S. military and economic advantage [in the Pacific region].”

North of the border in Canada, intelligence officials estimate Chinese front companies to number between 300 and 500. However, Canadian officials say the government in Ottawa is “not conducive” to eliminating the threat, unlike Washington.

“Virtually all the recent prime ministers and Paul Martin – who is likely to be the next prime minister – have strong connections to China on personal, business and political fronts,” said one Canadian intelligence analyst specializing in East Asian affairs.

“They find it difficult to understand this threat … some just deny it,” he said.

Former Canadian Foreign Service officer Brian McAdam told the Post he believes the FBI’s warning resembles a passage out of a report he wrote for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, or CSIS, some years ago.

McAdam worked on “Project Sidewinder,” which essentially was conducted by CSIS and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or RCMP, between 1994 and 1996.

His study, the Post said, mimics the FBI’s assertions China is the most significant intelligence threat to the West – particularly North America – in the world today.

“It also examined the ability of elements of Asian Organized Crime to act in concert with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the PRC to take control of sensitive Canadian industries and corrupt our politicians through direct and indirect donations,” the paper said.

Other intelligence experts agree on the spy threat posed by China.

Tom Marzullo, a former Special Forces soldier and a veteran of submarine special operations, wrote in WorldNetDaily earlier this year Russia, as well as China, “has been ramping up its capabilities for the past two decades in order to reap the benefits of our domestic technological inventiveness to our disadvantage within international markets.”

WorldNetDaily reported in June 2001 foreign spies were a problem in the U.S.

If a nation “chooses not to invest in good security – counterintelligence,” David Major, an FBI veteran and member of Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council, told WorldNetDaily, “it simply makes it easier for the collector [foreign intelligence agents].”

Major said most Americans “almost ignore … the power of intelligence and counterintelligence,” noting espionage activities are carried out against the United States “every single day.”

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