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.