Feb 9, 2020 - World

Pompeo warns of mass Chinese spying in grim message to governors

Photo: Natalia Fedosenko\TASS via Getty Images.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a speech to the National Governors Association Saturday that governors should be vigilant in their business interactions with China, warning that they're each being methodically analyzed and lobbied by the Communist Party, Politico reports.

Why it matters: Pompeo, who has helped shape the Trump administration's hawkish stance toward China, was seeking to highlight how competition with Beijing is not just a federal issue.

What he's saying: "When it comes to doing business, I’m asking you to adopt a cautious mindset," Pompeo said, according to Reuters. "In the words of President Reagan, when you are approached for introduction or a connection to a deal, ‘trust but verify.'"

  • "[W]hether you are viewed by the [Communist Party of China] as friendly or hardline, know that it’s working you, know that it’s working the team around you," he added. "Competition with China is happening inside of your state, and it affects our capacity to perform America’s vital national security functions."

Between the lines: While phase one of a trade deal between the U.S. and China was signed in January, the two countries have still not resolved disputes over IP theft, spying and other broader issues.

  • Just last month, prosecutors charged Charles Lieber, chair of the Harvard University chemistry department, with lying about funds he obtained through a Chinese government recruitment program.

Go deeper: The FBI is walking a tightrope on China

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How a Chinese think tank rates all 50 U.S. governors

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A Chinese think tank has rated U.S. governors and White House advisors on how "friendly" they are to Beijing in a series of reports analyzed by Axios.

Why it matters: Washington's sharp turn toward hardline policies on China means there's a strong push in Beijing to find alternate channels of engagement, especially via U.S. local government leaders.

Go deeperArrowFeb 19, 2020 - World

Exclusive: Pompeo says new China media restrictions "long overdue"

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The State Department announced Tuesday that it has designated five Chinese state media outlets as "foreign missions," meaning that they will be treated as arms of the Chinese government.

Driving the news: In his first public statement on the new designation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells Axios that the five outlets are "clearly controlled by the [Chinese Communist Party], and we are simply recognizing that fact by taking this action.”

Go deeperArrowFeb 18, 2020 - World

Podcast: A Beijing think tank ranks U.S. governors

Beijing-based think tank D&C generated a series of reports rating state governors and White House officials on how "friendly" they are toward China. Pro Rata producer Naomi Shavin is joined by Axios China reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, who obtained and analyzed the reports.

Go deeper: How a Chinese think tank rates all 50 U.S. governors