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The FBI is opening counter-intelligence investigations in China as often as every 12 hours, Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing.

“There is no shortage of dangers to defend against,” Wray said in his opening statement, highlighting the agency’s efforts to combat foreign and domestic terrorism, cybercrime and gang violence.

Wray did not elaborate on the nature of the investigations into China, but has long warned of the dangers of cyber espionage and hacking from the country.

“The greatest long-term threat to our country’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality, is the threat of counterintelligence and economic espionage from China. It is a threat to our economic security. and, by extension, for our national security, ”he said. said in a speech last year.

He then stressed that he was not talking about “the Chinese people” and “certainly not the Americans of Chinese origin”, but pointed the finger at government officials.

“The Chinese government is engaged in a wide and diverse campaign of theft and malicious influence, and it can execute this campaign with authoritarian efficiency,” he said. “The FBI and our partners across the US government will hold China accountable and protect our nation’s innovation, ideas and way of life – with the help and vigilance of the American people.”

Michael kosnar and Ken dilanian contributed.

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