Intelligence: February 11, 2003

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The CIA has gotten more money to expand its operations covering China. This means the CIA needs more people who speak Chinese and know something about China, or at least look Chinese (for field work.) So the agency has begun advertising in Chinese language, or Chinese oriented, publications to recruit Chinese-Americans. For the last few years, the CIA has been more active recruiting on campuses, and since September 11, 2001, has gotten a lot more resumes. Most of the new hires would work as analysts, but some would go out into the field. Normally, CIA agents work out of the U.S. embassy or consulates in China, and are protected by diplomatic immunity. But these agents are usually pretty easy to spot. More dangerous is working as an American, or foreign, citizen visiting China as a tourist or on business. Given the energetic paranoia of Chinese security organizations, expect to see more Chinese-American tourists and commercial visitors in China being followed by the secret police, and some will be arrested on suspicion of whatever. Along those lines, the FBI is also interviewing Chinese citizens studying or working in the United States. It's understood that these "friendly interviews" are for the purpose of insuring that China isn't spying on us and, perhaps, to recruit some of these visitors to work for America. A quarter of the Chinese students stay in the United States after graduation, so recruiting these potential American citizens seems a pretty safe way to find out what Chinese espionage in the United States is up to. In the last few years, the FBI has made more arrests of Chinese visitors caught spying for China. The new FBI interview program hopes to put a dent in that spying activity.

 


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