A former State Department employee was sentenced to 40 months in prison for concealing her interactions with two Chinese intelligence agents, along with the extravagant gifts they gave her in exchange for government information.
“Claiborne was entrusted with privileged information as a U.S. government employee, and she abused that trust at the expense of our nation’s security,” Acting Assistant Director John Selleck of the FBI’s Washington Field Office said in a statement.
“The targeting of U.S. security clearance holders by Chinese intelligence services is a constant threat we face,” he added.
Over the course of five years, Chinese agents allegedly gave Claiborne and her family “tens of thousands of dollars” in gifts and perks — including wired cash, a monthly stipend, overseas trips, tuition at a Chinese fashion school and an apartment that was fully furnished.
Meanwhile General Mark A Milley, said Thursday, in his confirmation hearing for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that, “I think China is the main challenge to the US national security over the next 50 to 100 years.”
“I think some historian in 2119 is going to look back at this century and read a book and the central theme of the story is going to beat the relationship between the United States and China,” Milley said responding to a question from Senator David Perdue and agreed with the latter that China was using trade as leverage to achieve its national security interests.
“With regard to their belt-road initiative and there made in China 2025, my experience is that they generally don’t tell their adversaries what they are going to do unless they have made a determination that they either don’t have the wherewithal or the will to stop them,” Perdue said as he expressed concern over Chinese investments in ports around Africa and the Indian Ocean but also in South America
“Now see in Colombo, Sri Lanka and then also Karachi and Pakistan where they have actually foreclosed and are now militarising those two ports in addition to what they have done in Djibouti,” Perdue said.
“They want us there as a security partner, they want us there as a security guarantor, they want full presence forward presence. They believe that we are a force of stability and there is great concern,” Milley said.
China, though he noted is not an enemy of the United States. “I want to make that clear. They are an adversary, I would say, they are our competitors. But that’s different than an enemy. An enemy in military language means they are in an active armed conflict. You are at war. We’re not there. We don’t want to be there,” Milleyadded.