FBI Video Warning About Spying for China Stars White College Student

Michael McGregor, American Renaissance, April 24, 2014

The truth would be too awkward.

Espionage is a serious crime, and the penalties are especially high if the spy is a US citizen. Some Americans can be persuaded to spy for a foreign government in exchange for money and other alluring promises.

That’s what happened to Glenn Shriver, a cash-strapped college student who was studying in China in 2004. Chinese intelligence plied him with attractive girls and offered him money to apply to work for at such places as the CIA and the State Department so he could spy for China.

Mr. Shriver was caught in 2010, and sentenced to four years in prison. His story is the basis of “Game of Pawns,” a recent video produced by the FBI to warn students studying abroad against being lured into espionage.

This effort by the FBI completely fails to mention that the people who spy for China are almost always ethnic Chinese. And they don’t need promises of money and sex.

When Chinese intelligence approaches overseas Chinese—or even naturalized citizens of other countries—all they have to do is emphasize shared ancestry. Even the FBI admits this. A government handbook on intelligence states that 98 percent of the people that China targets for espionage are Chinese-Americans, and warns that ethnic solidarity is the main recruitment tool.

David Szady, a former director of the FBI’s counterintelligence department (the same department that produced the “Pawns” video), says that the Chinese government does not consider these people Chinese-Americans. They call them “overseas Chinese.” Mr. Szady notes that the politically correct pretense that American citizens never fall for nationalist appeals is one of the biggest obstacles to the FBI’s counterespionage work.

Chinese spying goes back a long way. In 1985, Larry Wu-Tai Chin, a Chinese-born American who worked for the U.S. government was arrested and convicted of passing secrets to the Chinese government. He had probably been spying for more than 30 years before he was caught. His information disrupted many American intelligence activities in Asia.

Katrina Leung, a Chinese immigrant living in Los Angeles, was hired by the FBI to report on fellow Chinese-Americans who were suspected of working for the PRC. In 2003 she was unmasked as a double agent who had been spying on us the entire 20 years the FBI thought she was working for them.

Chi Mak is a Chinese-born physicist who was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 2008 for providing information to China about America’s long-range weapons and nuclear submarine arsenal. That same year, Tai Kuo’s decades-long espionage career came to an end when he pleaded guilty to supplying weapons information to China.

In 2012, a former employee of DuPont Corp. pleaded guilty to passing industrial secrets to China. Tze Chao, who had worked for DuPont for 36 years, said Chinese had “overtly appealed to my Chinese ethnicity and asked me to work for the good” of the PRC. Also in 2012, a Chinese man-and-wife team was convicted of stealing hybrid automobile technology from General Motors to pass on to China. GM said other automakers had paid $40 million for the technology.

In 2013, Bo Jiang, a Chinese working for a NASA contractor was arrested for taking “voluminous sensitive” NASA documents back to China on a trip in 2012. He was caught at Dulles International Airport just as he was about to hop a plane for Beijing. Also in 2013, six Chinese were arrested in Iowa after they were caught digging up genetically-engineered seeds from secret test fields. One company estimated that the stolen seeds cost $30 to $40 million to develop.

Just this month, Jian Dai, a Chinese national living in California pleaded guilty to transferring military technology to the PRC. Prosecutors sealed the details of the plea—perhaps to conceal how much damage Mr. Dai had done the country.

These are just a few of the Chinese—many of them naturalized US citizens—who have been caught spying, and according to a US government Intelligence Threat Handbook, arrests “are just the tip of the iceberg of an already-large and increasingly capable PRC [Peoples Republic of China] intelligence effort.”

Under these circumstances wouldn’t it make sense for the FBI to make a cautionary video warning high-tech companies and military contractors to keep an eye on Chinese scientists? Of course not. That would be profiling.

So instead, we have poor Glenn Shriver, the only known case of a white American college student recruited to spy for China, starring in his very own FBI movie.

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Michael McGregor
Mr. McGregor writes for Radix Journal.
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