Supposed U.S. Think Tank Submits Report on Intelligence Operations in China

Publication: China Brief Volume: 7 Issue: 8

A number of Chinese newspapers and publications have cited an internal report from the U.S. Department of Defense that examines U.S. intelligence gathering operations on China. According to the Chinese media, the report was supposedly submitted by a U.S. think tank named Shidai Fazhan Jijinhui [Era Development Foundation], though it is likely that the actual name of the think tank was incorrectly translated in the initial media coverage (Xinhua, April 17). The report details current U.S. intelligence activities, composed primarily of signals intelligence (SIGINT) operations, that are used to gather information on the Chinese military. The report also makes a number of recommendations, including the need to increase U.S. human intelligence (HUMINT) assets in China (Ta Kung Pao, April 17). The ideal candidates for these positions are ethnic Chinese Americans, who have graduated from institutions of higher learning and have served in the U.S. military. The report suggests that these intelligence personnel be posted as military attaches in U.S. consulates throughout China so that they can conduct convert surveillance on dual-use installations, such as airports that serve both civilian and military aircraft. In addition, advanced Chinese weapons platforms and technologies, such as China’s experimental laser weapon system and the construction of aircraft carriers, would also be the targets of these operations.