June 23, 2024

A well-known Republican lawmaker has accused China of infiltrating. The Federal Reserve with a network of informants in order to gain access to private information about the US economy.

China has been targeting US central bank economists for more than a decade, according to Ohio senator Rob Portman’s report, which claims that the country has offered lucrative contracts to Chinese talent programs in exchange for access to insider information, and that in one case, a Fed employee was detained forcibly while on a business trip to Shanghai.

According to US officials, Chinese espionage and infiltration of Western groups, including businesses, universities, and hospitals, is on the rise and poses a serious threat. The heads of the FBI and MI5 convened for an unprecedented press conference earlier this month to warn of the dangers posed by China’s industrial espionage.

Beijing has consistently denied allegations that it conducts espionage campaigns against western institutions.

Portman, the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, said in a statement: “I am concerned about the threat to the Fed.”

Further, he expressed the hope that the investigation would “wake the Fed up to the broad threat from China to our monetary policy” and urged the central bank to do more to “counter this threat from one of our foremost foreign adversaries.” He added that

However, in a letter to Portman, Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell defended the central bank’s safeguards against external influence.

Any credible allegation of wrongdoing, from any source, would be a cause for concern, according to Powell. However, we are deeply disturbed by what we believe to be the report’s unfair, unsubstantiated, and unverified accusations about specific staff members.”

“Our processes, controls, and technology are robust and regularly updated. Because we understand that some actors aim to exploit any vulnerabilities. “Any suggestions to the contrary will be politely rejected,” he added.

Dr. Michael Portman, a prominent critic of Chinese overseas activity. Has previously released reports on Chinese involvement with illicit synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Being shipped internationally through the postal service and has warned of the danger Chinese telecoms. Carriers pose in the United States of America (USA).

Additionally, the report alleges that China had attempted to recruit US-based economists. To provide Beijing with insights into the inner workings of the Federal Reserve. By offering places on talent exchange programs that included monetary payments.

Some economists had attempted to transfer sensitive information via US central bank branches. To Chinese contacts, but it was not clear if any data had been compromised.

“Lacking sufficient counter-intelligence expertise” and being “slow. To respond to intelligence threats” were cited as examples of the Fed’s inability to effectively counter China’s threat.

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