Comer: Pattern of intel failures leaving U.S. vulnerable to China's prying eyes

Comer: Pattern of intel failures leaving U.S. vulnerable to China's prying eyes

Comer: Pattern of intel failures leaving U.S. vulnerable to China's prying eyes

A key Republican in the House of Representatives has no confidence in America's intelligence community, citing how China's spying continues unabated in the United States.

James Comer (pictured above) says a House investigation is ongoing to determine the depth of China's knowledge of military assets and other key U.S. institutions. But the Kentucky Republican finds himself in a tough spot for a congressman who is trying to investigate the depth of China's spying in the U.S.

"We've known for years they were stealing our patents, stealing our intellectual property," Comer said on Washington Watch Thursday. "We also know they're spying on our military bases. We've launched an investigation, and we're trying to learn every detail of how deep their spy rings go, how deep their theft rings go.

"It's not just our public universities," he emphasized.

But the anti-Israel protests that have played out in recent weeks at universities across the country are the most recent visible examples of China's influence in the U.S., critics say. Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Florida) in a recent appearance on the Fox Business Network said he had "information" that the Chinese government was the top link in a funding chain for college protesters. He did not comment further.

The Daily Signal, the news arm of The Heritage Foundation, in 2020 wrote about a link between Black Lives Matter and a group with close ties to the Chinese government.

"Americans have a right to know who is behind the continued violence in our cities. As a sovereign nation, we should know whether a foreign government is fueling this internal damage to our country. The U.S. government should connect the dots and investigate the extent of the Chinese Communist Party's support for the Black Lives Matter organization and the riots. It's past time for answers," the Heritage Foundation wrote.

BioSecure Act targets Chinese companies

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee, for which Comer is chairman, voted Wednesday to advance the BioSecure Act (H.R. 8333), legislation aimed at ensuring that foreign adversary biotechnology companies do not gain access to U.S. tax dollars.

The bill's cosponsor's say the PRC's military has invested in advancing their biotech and AI capabilities and, through business collaborations, the PRC has access to millions of Americans' genetic data.

The bill would prohibit federal agencies from contracting with or extending loans or grants to any company with current or future commercial arrangements with a "biotechnology company of concern."

Comer says China has constructed "spy centers" across America.

Spying is not just a nebulous activity with no victims. A giant balloon floating across America in 2023 may have had that look.

"The Bio Secure Act targeted five Chinese companies that the United States can no longer do business with because they take our genetic data and our health care data and use it against us," Comer said.

Many campus protesters have called on their universities to cease all funding of Israel and for greater transparency into how the schools are investing their money. It looks like both sides of the aisle could benefit from political transparency.

"We've learned China is funding anonymously a lot of our most liberal research universities, the ones which just so happen to be having all the campus protests against Israel," Comer noted.

While China has become more aggressive in collecting information on Americans, a pattern of U.S. intelligence failures leaves Comer concerned.

"Right now, I have absolutely no confidence in our intelligence community whatsoever – and it doesn't just stem from our ongoing investigation with China or our ongoing investigation with the Biden influence peddling. It's issue after issue," he said.

"When they give a classified briefing to Congress, if you write that down and wait, their predictions never seem to happen. They're always wrong in a lot of big things from 'this country has weapons of mass destruction' to 'they'll occupy Kiev in the next 72 hours' in talking about Ukraine," Comer described.

U.S. leaders uninformed on China spying

Those inaccuracies leave the U.S. unprepared, according to the GOP lawmaker. More than that, he says U.S. intelligence leaders with respect to the China threat are doing nothing to prepare Congress.

"There's no plan right now to educate the heads of government cabinets, much less the heads of government departments and divisions as to what to look for to realize when China has infiltrated your data system, or when China has hacked into some type of computer program, or where China may have some employees that are there spying and taking sensitive or even classified information back to the CCP for China," Comer lamented.

Sadly, China's plan involves more than spying. A new report shows that the Chinese Communist Party has been "fully funding" field trips for American students to visit China.

Emails from public school officials in Muscatine, Iowa, show a teacher and officials of the Chinese government were in contact to coordinate several trips to China. Muscatine High School disclosed that the students were guests of China's Minister of Education.

The students reportedly sent letters to Chinese President Xi Jinping praising both him and the nation of China. The Daily Mail reports some of the comments included "I love you, China" and "Thank you, Grandpa Xi."

Targeting U.S. school kids

Alexis Nester, an investigative fellow at Parents Defending Education, tells AFN she discovered the high school students went to China in January on an all-expense-paid trip covered by the Chinese government.

Nester acknowledges that children need to have all sorts of different opportunities to study languages, including Chinese, and to study the history of China and Chinese culture, for example – but she also finds it "frustrating and frightening" to see what's happening in this case.

"Are our kids learning about ongoing issues, about the human rights abuses committed at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party? That doesn't appear to be happening here," she states.

"We have kids who are … writing very friendly letters to Xi Jinping, who orchestrated this ongoing Uyghur genocide. We have … kids not learning about the Tiananmen Square massacre [in 1989]. That's a huge problem."

Nester argues that students need to learn the full history if they're going to participate in programs like this.

The Daily Mail reported China openly states that infiltrating the American education system is a top priority.