There was once a time when we wouldn’t take immigrants from countries with which we had hostile relations. Now, our number-one strategic adversary, Red China, is also the number-one source of immigrants and foreign students. There is no way we can vet hundreds of thousands of students and immigrants a year to ensure China is not sending them here to engage in espionage. Indeed, there are scores of people arrested every year on espionage charges. How many are we not catching?
On Monday, two Chinese students from the University of Michigan appeared in federal court on charges of entering Naval Air Station Key West in Florida with the intention of photographing defense installations. Yuhao Wang and Jielun Zhang were arrested last Saturday when they drove through a restricted area of the naval base in Key West after they were told to turn around. After half an hour, U.S. Navy Security Forces found them and discovered pictures on their cell phones and Nikon cameras of U.S. military structures on Fleming Key.
This comes just two weeks after another Chinese student, Lyuyou Liao, was arrested for taking pictures of another annex of the base. Liao, like so many of these students, had a full scholarship paid for by the Chinese government.
The question is how much of our national security are we willing to sacrifice to the gods of open borders? In the case of foreign students, it’s really the god of public education, which is being subsidized happily by the Chinese. The universities get cash from the Chinese government, while the Chinese get operatives and intelligence officers into the country to work in academic fields and occupations. The rest of the American people lose.
The arrest of these students comes on the heels of the attack at the naval base in Pensacola by a Saudi military student. It’s shocking how it took security 30 minutes to locate these Chinese nationals who ran through a checkpoint. Yet despite Trump’s promise to arm soldiers on bases from the “first day” of his administration, even these attacks on military bases have not prompted that change.
An even bigger issue here of course is our massive Chinese immigration. We bring in roughly 369,548 Chinese foreign students a year, together with 80,000 more on immigrant visas. In other words, there are about as many Chinese students in the U.S. as the entire university enrollment in the state of Maryland. As John Binder of Breitbart observes, taken together, that means we have admitted more people from China as immigrants and long-term visa holders in recent years than from any other country, including Mexico. Knowing that China directly uses immigrants for asymmetrical warfare against us, why is there no outcry to end this policy? The director of national intelligence warned in the latest Worldwide Threat Assessment, “China’s intelligence services will exploit the openness of American society, especially academia and the scientific community, using a variety of means,”
Last November, the Senate Homeland Security subcommittee on investigations published a bipartisan report warning how 10,000 Chinese nationals conduct research in the Department of Energy’s National Labs. The report found that foreign-born researchers working for various U.S. scientific research agencies were being paid by China under the Thousand Talents Plan run by the communist government. The report concludes, “American taxpayer funded research has contributed to China’s global rise over the last 20 years,” as Chinese plants ensure we pay for the rope to hang ourselves.
The report’s authors note that despite the Chinese government openly announcing in 2008 its intent to recruit overseas researchers with access to advanced research and technology, the FBI did not make it a prior to monitor until mid-2018, years into the mass migration from China. In the words of the authors, it allowed China to go “from brain drain to brain gain.”
How in the world do we vet people who were selected by the Chinese communists for espionage and intellectual property theft, among the many well-meaning Chinese students or scientists? How can we vet hundreds of thousands every year? Well, we don’t. The report found that agencies and department conducting scientific research like the National Institutes of Health and the State Department do not “systematically track visa applicants linked to China’s talent recruitment plans.” The Department of State denies just five percent of visas scrutinized for violations of export control laws.