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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.

Go deeper

Sep 30, 2020 - World

House report: U.S. intelligence agencies have failed to adapt to China threat

Xi Jinping and other Chinese politicians and delegates listen to the national anthem duirng the closing of the 19th Communist Party Congress in 2017. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday released a report finding that the U.S. intelligence community has failed to adapt to the growing threat from China, arguing that it will struggle to compete on the global stage for decades to come if it does not implement major changes.

The big picture: The 200-page report, based on thousands of analytic assessments and hundreds of hours of interviews with intelligence officers, determined that the intelligence community's focus on counterterrorism after 9/11 allowed China "to transform itself into a nation potentially capable of supplanting the United States as the leading power in the world."

House Dems subpoena acting DHS intelligence head over delayed whistleblower testimony

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf testifies at his Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on Sept. 23. Photo: Greg Nash/pool/AFP via Getty Images

Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, issued two subpoenas on Tuesday in an attempt to compel testimony from the Department of Homeland Security's head of intelligence, while accusing the agency of stonewalling testimony from a whistleblower.

Why it matters: The House and Senate Intelligence committees are investigating the DHS based on a former senior officials' whistleblower complaint that he was told to stop giving intelligence assessments on threats of Russian interference in the U.S. because it "made the president look bad."

9 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.