China and Russia pose serious threats to U.S. and allied security and Beijing is engaged in cyber attacks against the United States that threaten U.S. national security, a senior member of Congress aid last week.
Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. and senior member of the House Appropriations Committee made the comments during a speech to the Space Policy Institute April 28.
Wolf said space is strategically important for the United States but that under the Obama administration, space programs have been gutted.
“The need for a clear strategic vision and strong international partnerships with allies who share our values and interests are more critical now than they have been in decades,” Wolf said.
“For the first time in many years, the U.S. is facing real competition in space; this time from China, a country that may pose a serious threat in the years ahead,” he said. “We also face, for the first time since the end of the Cold War, an overtly hostile Russia that is threatening our allies in Europe.”
The Russian annexation of Crimea and sanctions imposed on Moscow highlighted the perils of relying on countries like Russia that do not share U.S. security interests.
“Today, we find ourselves unexpectedly facing twin threats from our continued dependence on a belligerent Russia for access to space as well as an increasingly assertive China that is challenging the U.S. on many fronts,” he said, noting China’s conduct of “comprehensive cyber espionage campaigns aimed at stealing sensitive U.S technologies.”
Chinese cyber attacks, according FBI briefings provided to Wolf, have targted federal agencies, contractors and law firms to steal billions of dollars of cutting-edge technology. The theft “diminishes our national security and undermines job creation,” he said.
Wolf said FBI Director James Comey recently revealed that the cyber threat, which is largely from China, has eclipsed terrorism as the great security threat to our country.
The National Security Agency has called Chinese espionage of technology from U.S. contractors, including many in this room, as “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.”
Former NSA director General Keith Alexander said that one U.S. company “recently lost $1 billion worth of intellectual property over the course of a couple of days – ‘technology that they’d worked on for 20-plus years – stolen by one of the adversaries.’”