China and the US are set to take action against each other as tensions escalate over trade, cyber hacking and espionage as US senior law enforcement officials identified Beijing as the most serious threat to US national security on Wednesday.
China’s methods of non-traditional espionage -- including their use of ordinary Chinese expatriates instead of spies at universities and businesses, and intellectual property theft -- were explained by officials from the FBI and departments of Justice and Homeland Security who briefed US lawmakers.
As the United States proceeds a whole of society response to this threat, we must address the vulnerabilities within our system while preserving our values and the open, free and fair principles that have made us thrive, E.W. Priestap, the FBI’s assistant director of counterintelligence told the Senate Judiciary Committee. "What hangs in the balance is not just the future of the United States, but the future of the world."
The Huawei arrest was enormously unpopular in China and there is some retaliation planned for by security services. You’re likely to see more things like that in the next bit, said a source familiar with ongoing trade negotiations, referring to the diplomat’s detainment.
The Trump administration has insisted that trade talks are on a separate track from renewed strikes against China to halt cyber espionage practices and intellectual property theft.
On Tuesday, Trump said the United States and China were having "very productive conversations" shortly after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Robert Lighthizer, the country’s top trade negotiator and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke by phone for the first time following a presidential dinner on Dec. 1.