Apr 27, 2019

FBI director: China poses "multilayered threat"

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

U.S. economic and national security is threatened by China's strategic plan for dominance in multiple areas, FBI Director Christopher Wray said in an interview Friday with Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Why it matters: These so-called "generational threats" will shape the future of the U.S., Wray warns.

"They’re going to determine where we stand and what we look like ten years from now, twenty years from now, fifty years from now."
— Christopher Wray tells Richard Haass

The "multilayered threat" from China, Wray says, entails a merging of cybercrime and espionage. China is "stealing innovation" via businesses, universities and organizations, he says.

  • The FBI's economic espionage investigations "almost invariably lead back to China" in most of the 56 field offices and span most industries or sectors.
  • "Put plainly, China seems determined to steal its way up the economic ladder at our expense."

Plus, the increasing dependence of the U.S. on technology makes the country more vulnerable, he adds.

  • "[O]ur ever-expanding use of technology: next-generation telecommunications networks like 5G, the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, cryptocurrencies, unmanned aerial system[s], deep fakes ... I see blinking red right in front of me and right in front of all of us. And we grow more vulnerable in many ways every day."

The bottom line: There needs to be a public-private partnership to share information and resources to prevent these threats, Wray says.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,414,738 — Total deaths: 81,259 — Total recoveries: 298,642Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 387,547 — Total deaths: 12,291 — Total recoveries: 20,395Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill.
  4. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  5. World latest: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  6. Wisconsin primary in photos: Thousands gathered to cast ballots in-person during the height of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S.
  7. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Airline industry braces for a forever-changed world

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The airline industry got a $58 billion lifeline in the coronavirus federal aid package. But the path is unclear for these companies, whose operations and prospects will be forever changed by the global pandemic.

Why it matters: People may want to minimize travel for the foreseeable future. Investors, analysts and industry watchers are trying to determine how much airlines will need to spend — and how much more in lost revenue they'll see — while they adapt to the new reality.

Trump denies seeing Navarro memos warning about toll of coronavirus

President Trump said at a press briefing Tuesday that he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning in January and February that the coronavirus crisis could kill more than half a million Americans and cost close to $6 trillion.

Why it matters: Trump insisted that despite not seeing the memos, he did "more or less" what Navarro suggested by banning non-U.S. citizens from traveling from China effective Feb. 2.