House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs Chairman Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) are investigating recent reports of Chinese foreign nationals breaching and accessing secure U.S. military bases and facilities. In a letter to the heads of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the lawmakers request a staff briefing on this national security threat no later than October 16, 2023.
“According to a recent report, Chinese nationals, sometimes posing as tourists, have repeatedly accessed, or attempted to access, U.S. military bases and other sensitive government facilities as often as one hundred times in recent years. These efforts to access U.S. military bases and facilities raise concerns about what these Chinese nationals are seeking to access and for what purpose,” wrote the lawmakers. “To understand the extent to which Chinese nationals access U.S. military bases and facilities and what is being done to address this ongoing threat, we request a staff briefing.”
The PRC’s National Intelligence Law requires that Chinese nationals support, assist, and cooperate with Chinese intelligence officials, even while abroad. This obligation placed upon Chinese nationals raises concerns about whether the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) compels its citizens to gather intelligence while in the United States. In 2021, a Chinese company also purchased land around Grand Forks Air Force Base prompting DOD to require U.S. government approval for foreign nationals to purchase property within 100 miles of certain military installations.
“These reports of Chinese espionage activities on U.S. soil underscore the Committee’s deepening concerns. It is imperative that our government is fully apprised of the breadth and depth of these activities, which pose significant threats to our national security, and our military personnel,” continued the lawmakers.
Read the letter to DOD Secretary Austin and FBI Director Wray here.