A U.S. Senator Has Reported That China Is Attempting To Infiltrate The Federal Reserve
WASHINGTON - Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, along with the Senate Homeland Security Governmental Affairs Committee has stated that China is attempting to recruit individuals, which are already employed inside the Federal Reserve (FED), as agents of international espionage.
According to American Military News, the report, which was published in late July, details China's nefarious attempts "to target, influence, and undermine the United States Federal Reserve" and has been engaged in these activities for over a decade.
Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman has officially disputed the findings in the report; however, Portman insists his report takes examples from five different incidents where China attempted to gain access to the FED, which controls and manages the United States monetary policy.
In one such incident, the report states there was an employee of the FED who had been detained on four separate occasions while traveling to China with their family. The employee and his family were threatened with prison if he did not hand over information regarding the FED.
In another incident, the report stated that multiple employees of the FED maintain unusually close connections to academic organizations based in China, and are connected to the Thousand Talents Program, an organization that seeks out intelligent individuals, globally, with high skill levels.
In a third case, a FED employee engaged in dialogue with the Xinhua News Agency, the state-run agency which manages official press releases of the Chinese government.
The extent of Chinese infiltration into the FED is still unknown, but in another case presented in the report stated a Fed employee began engaging in, what the report called, "adversarial tradecraft" by switching to alternate communications which were not monitored and changing to anonymous emails when the employee was confronted.
In addition to the report, the Senator stated that the FED is currently not legally able to counter China's influential tactics due to a lack of bulletproof policies and procedures to prevent such infiltration. He went on to elaborate that many current employees of the FED, with affiliations to talent recruiting organizations in China, still maintain full access to privileged information, inside the FED.
"I am concerned by the threat to the FED and hope our investigation, which is based on the FED's own documents and corresponds with assessments and recommendations made by the FBI, wakes the FED up to the broad threat from China to our monetary policy,... The risk is clear, I urge the FED to do more, working with the FBI, to counter this threat from one of our foremost foreign adversaries..." - Rob Portman, United States Senator, Republican - Ohio, Senate Homeland Security Governmental Affairs Committee
As Jerome Powell disputed Portman's report and states that the FED already has solid policies and procedures in place that safeguard all sensitive information and ensure the integrity of FED employees. He had this to say to CNN:
"We are deeply troubled by what we believe to be the report's unfair, unsubstantiated, and unverified insinuations about particular individual staff members,... We are confident that the Federal Reserve staff understand their obligation and are committed to maintaining both the confidentiality of sensitive information and the integrity of our workforce,..." - Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman
Powell went on to defend the engagements of FED employees and foreign organizations, stating that international cooperation serves the interests of the FED's functions by expanding the FED's understanding of economically centered issues, occurring around the world.
Other agencies are also reporting on the unusual attempts by China to infiltrate certain areas of government.
According to the Washington Examiner, Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, stated in March that China is the ultimate "absolutely unparalleled" long-term priority for the intel community in the United States.
In a speech, while visiting London in July, Christopher Wray, Director of the FBI, in a joint presentation with Ken McCallum, UK MI5 Director-General, stated this:
"We consistently see that it's the Chinese government that poses the biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security, and by 'our', I mean both of our nations,..."
According to the Wall Street Journal, the report presented by Portman stems from a separate internal inquiry from 2015 by the federal reserve. The 2015 investigation identified a group, labeled the "P-Network" in the report, which include 13 individuals who were working at 8 FED banks across the country. One member of the network, which is outlined in the report as "Z", though no longer employed at the FED, has maintained active connections to the Chinese government and has aspirations for keeping an outlet open for information sharing within the FED.
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