Remarks prepared for delivery.
Director Wray’s Remarks at Press Conference Announcing Actions to Disrupt Criminal Activity by Individuals Associated with the Government of the People’s Republic of China
First, let me begin by pointing out that 10 of the 13 charged individuals we’re discussing today are Chinese intelligence officers and Chinese government officials. They’re charged in three different cases that might seem at first glance to be about unrelated issues.
However—and this is something I’ve been talking about for years—each of these cases lays bare the Chinese government’s flagrant violation of international laws, as they work to project their authoritarian view around the world, including within our own borders.
In all three of these cases, and in thousands of others, we’ve found the Chinese government threatening established democratic norms and the rule of law, as they work to undermine U.S. economic security and fundamental human rights—including those of Americans.
We also see a coordinated effort across the Chinese government to lie, cheat, and steal their way into unfairly dominating entire technology sectors, putting competing U.S. companies out of business.
As I’ve pointed out before, their economic assault and their rights violations are part of the same problem. They both flout the rule of law. And one of the purposes of the Chinese government’s repression is to make it easier to steal our innovation. They try to silence anyone who fights back against their theft—companies, politicians, individuals—just as they try to silence anyone who fights back against their other aggressions.
And in our cases today we have yet another example: their attempted obstruction of an independent judicial process, to give underhanded help to one of their companies accused of breaking our intellectual property laws and deny justice to that company’s victims.
Since I started as FBI Director, I’ve been repeatedly sounding the alarm about the Chinese government’s disregard for fair business practices, for international norms, and for the rule of law. The FBI has been reaching out to and warning—and most importantly, helping—the communities that the Chinese government targets:
- Businesses of every size and in almost every sector, from agriculture, to green tech, to semiconductors;
- The Chinese-American community;
- Academia, and state and local governments; and
- Our foreign partners around the world.
Today, every one of those partners is awake and alert to that threat in a way that just wasn’t always true five years ago.
And our success bringing more and more partners to this fight highlights something else important: Beijing may think our adherence to the rule of law is a weakness, but they’re wrong. We’re disrupting Chinese government criminality and aggression not just while adhering to our values, but by adhering to our values.
Our democratic and legal processes arm us with weapons China doesn’t have—among others, real partners and allies. And our partnerships help protect the American people every day. Today’s cases are no different—we couldn’t have accomplished this work without our foreign partners, and the U.S. academic community, in particular.
One reason we’ve had so much success bringing partners to the fight against the Chinese government’s aggression is that they see through Beijing’s hypocrisy.
For example, they see the type of CCP hypocrisy on display in our Fox Hunt case today — yet another case where Chinese government officials and co-conspirators mercilessly harassed a naturalized U.S. citizen to try to force him to return to China against his will. They accused the victim in this case of embezzling money, but two of the subjects who targeted him—two of the defendants charged today—are themselves actually involved in a scheme to launder millions of dollars. As if that weren’t enough evidence that the real purpose of their operation was political, they gave their victim a deadline to return by: the 20th CCP Congress earlier this month. They’re focused on repression, not law enforcement.
But our partners also see the CCP’s broader hypocrisy—the fact that while the CCP claims to stand for sovereignty and non-interference in other states’ affairs, what the Chinese government actually does is interfere with sovereign governments around the world whenever doing so suits Beijing. Here, interfering with our independent judiciary, violating both our sovereignty and the norms of police conduct to run lawless intimidation campaigns here in our backyard, and corrupting our academic freedom to further their campaign of repression and theft.
The FBI is going to continue to say what we mean and mean what we say—so our partners here and abroad, many of whom tell us they’re battling Chinese aggression themselves, know they can depend on us, against the Chinese government and countless other dangers.
Finally, let me urge any person or company being targeted or approached by the Chinese government to come to the FBI for help. No American citizen, resident, company, or university should battle this threat alone—and you don’t have to. You can report information through your local FBI field office or online at tips.fbi.gov. And know our quarrel is exclusively with the Chinese government—not the Chinese people, and certainly not Chinese-Americans.
I want to congratulate all the FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, and professional staff who have worked on these three cases, as well as our partners at CBP and the IRS.
I also want to take the opportunity to specifically thank the government employee who played such a critical role in the obstruction of justice case. We employ double agents frequently in our counterintelligence operations against the PRC’s services and other foreign threats. Given the nature of that work, we very rarely get to publicly thank them, so I’m delighted to have that chance today.