FBI director Christopher Wray said in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday that the bureau has more than 2,000 active investigations that link back to the Chinese government.

Context: Wray said that amounts to a roughly 1,300% increase in terms of economic espionage probes focused on China over the past decade.

Why it matters: He told the Senate Judiciary Committee last July that China is the top counterintelligence threat to the United States, with Russia coming in as the second greatest concern.

  • The FBI director noted on Wednesday that "there's no country that presents a broader, more comprehensive threat to America's innovation, to our economic security and to our Democratic ideas than China does."

Between the lines: Wray said that China is interested in influencing American political thought and policies "to try and shift them in a more friendly pro-China, pro-Chinese Communist Party direction."

  • "Sometimes that gets wrapped up in election issues," he added.

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Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Sep 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

The Chinese regulatory flex

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

All significant merger-and-acquisition transactions require regulatory approval — and a new regulator just got to town.

Why it matters: We're in a tit-for-tat trade war, which means that any action the U.S. takes against China is going to be reciprocated by a similar action taken by China against America. That includes regulatory actions.

Senate Republicans reject Trump claim that election results may "never" be known

Sen. Marco Rubio speaking with reporters in July. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Multiple Senate Republicans on Thursday disavowed President Trump's claim that the results of the 2020 election may remain unknown indefinitely, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Twitter flagged a tweet of the president's on Thursday as a potentially misleading statement after he said without evidence that because of mail-in ballots: "the Nov 3rd Election result may NEVER BE ACCURATELY DETERMINED, which is what some want."

Biden calls Russia an "opponent," sees China as a "serious competitor"

Joe Biden at a CNN town hall in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of CNN.

Joe Biden described Russia as an "opponent" of the U.S. at a CNN town hall on Thursday, while identifying China as a "serious competitor."

Flashback: The former vice president opened himself to attacks early in his campaign last year when he said China was "not competition" for the U.S. — a comment that drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, per Axios' Jonathan Swan.