In a clear challenge to the CIA, the newspaper reported:The New York Times“The Chinese spy agency is trying to exploit artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies to compete with the United States and reveal its secrets, which reveals the enormous ambitions of the Chinese Ministry of State Security.
The newspaper explained that even while the two countries were trying to reveal scientific secrets to each other, the Chinese spies wanted more.
In meetings during the Covid pandemic with Chinese technology contractors, these spies complained that the surveillance cameras tracking foreign diplomats, military officers and intelligence agents in Beijing’s embassy district did not meet their needs.
According to the newspaper, the spies requested an artificial intelligence program that would create instant files on each person and analyze their behavior patterns. They proposed feeding the AI program with information from databases and dozens of cameras that might include car license plates, mobile phone data, contacts, and more information about the people being monitored.
The newspaper indicated that these profiles created by artificial intelligence would allow Chinese spies to choose targets and identify their networks and weak points, according to notes of internal meetings obtained by the New York Times.
She pointed out that the spies’ interest in technology, which was first revealed by the newspaper, expresses some of the enormous ambitions of the Chinese Ministry of State Security, which is China’s main intelligence agency.
The newspaper explained that in recent years, the Ministry of State Security has built itself through broader recruitment of spies, including American citizens. The agency has also strengthened itself with better training, a larger budget and the use of advanced technologies in an attempt to achieve the goal of Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, of having China become a competitor to the United States as the world’s preeminent economic and military power.
The newspaper pointed out that the Chinese agency, which was once filled with agents whose main source of information was gossip at embassy dinner parties, is now competing with the CIA in gathering information and planning around the world.
The newspaper revealed that Chinese agents in Beijing have now obtained the artificial intelligence device they requested.
American officials and a person familiar with the deal told the newspaper that the system, which tracks American spies and others, shared the information with the New York Times on the condition that it does not reveal the names of the contracting companies involved. At the same time, with the CIA’s increased allocation of spending on China, the volume of its spying has doubled since the beginning of US President Joe Biden’s administration, and the United States has sharply intensified its spying on Chinese companies and their technological progress.
The newspaper confirmed that its report is based on interviews with more than 20 current and former American officials, most of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, and internal Chinese company documents and the Ministry of General State Security were also reviewed.
According to the newspaper, the Chinese agency has intensified its efforts on the CIA, and has also focused on collecting its intelligence information about American companies that develop technology for military and civilian uses, while the CIA, in a change from what it was a few years ago, is pouring resources into collecting data. About Chinese companies developing artificial intelligence and other similar tools.
The newspaper believes that although the US intelligence community has long collected economic intelligence, collecting detailed information about commercial technological advances outside defense companies was once the type of espionage that the United States avoided. But information about China’s development of emerging technologies is now considered as important as forecasting its conventional military strength or the machinations of its leaders.
But some policymakers secretly tell the newspaper that American efforts are still inadequate, and that Chinese companies and the Chinese army are surprising the American government with the extent of their rapid development.
In China, the status of the Ministry of State Security has developed under the current president, Xi Jinping, who values bold intelligence work and a strong security state, according to the newspaper.
In October 2022, the Communist Party promoted the head of the ministry, Chen Wenqing, to be the party’s top security official and a member of the 24-member Politburo, the first spy chief in decades to ascend to that body. His replacement, Chen Yixin, a longtime Xi aide, has raised the NSA’s public profile. He was also given a broad mandate, including leading a crackdown on US and other foreign companies conducting investigations into Chinese companies, including military ties and human rights abuses.
In August, the Chinese Ministry issued separate announcements confirming that it had arrested two Chinese citizens spying for the CIA, one of whom had been recruited by an American agent in Japan and the other in Italy.
In October, the ministry and Chinese state television reported a case in which a researcher at a defense industry institute was recruited by an American agent while he was a visiting scholar at an American university. He then transferred copies of secret documents to the Americans after his return to China, before he was arrested in 2021.
China asserted that the CIA was working to rebuild a network inside China that Chinese counterintelligence officers had destroyed more than a decade ago.
In recent years, the newspaper reported, China has developed its strategy in building the Ministry of Security, placing greater emphasis on technology and hiring its agents directly from universities, especially for key positions, according to a review of more than 30 online job advertisements from the agency. In recent years, it has looked for technology experts, including hackers, according to two people familiar with the recruiting effort.
She noted that the most acute concern for Beijing is that the United States and its allies may deprive China of vital technological know-how for economic and military growth, a risk that President Xi emphasized.