As Beijing establishes influence throughout America, the assault on the United States by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) intelligence-gatherers seems to continue unabated. This time Chinese spies posing as lost tourists were captured inside Fort Wainwright, a US Army installation located in Fairbanks, AK. This is another indication that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are probing and penetrating US military installations and carrying out provocative maneuvers in the air over the South China Sea and on the water in the Straits of Taiwan.
At Fort Wainwright, CCP spies wore disguises in an effort to appear harmless. But blowing past the guards at the post entrance in a vehicle gets you noticed. The incident is just the latest in several attempts made by Chinese citizens to gain entry to the installation. US military base authorities already have apprehended unauthorized personnel and people who “accidentally” entered the base for a view of the Northern lights. “Not all who appear to be tourists in Alaska are in fact tourists, an Army officer said, they are foreign spies,” Tom Vanden Brook reported for USA Today.
Trainings and Exercises Targets for Chinese Spies
The Army has recently engaged in exercise and training events in and around the Fort Wainwright military preserve to hone soldiers’ skills for operating in Arctic conditions. As Liberty Nation reported, “last year, approximately 8,000 US Army soldiers trained in subzero temperatures preparing for Arctic combat.” Observing the maneuvers and operational tactics during the training provides valuable intelligence for Chinese spies. Furthermore, close to Fort Wainwright is Eielson Air Force Base, which hosts the 354th Fighter Wing flying F-16s and the newest 5th Generation F-35A multi-role fighters. Ripe pickings for Chinese espionage.
The intrusion into Fort Wainwright is not the only intelligence-gathering campaign Beijing has unleashed. In November 2022, The Daily Caller reported:
“The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) … announced a ban on new imports of Chinese-owned telecommunications equipment, including the equipment suspected of surveilling sensitive US military sites … An FBI investigation in July found that Huawei equipment on cell towers could potentially capture Department of Defense communications, including those related to nuclear launch sites.”
The tourist-as-spy gaining entrance into military installations to surveil defense infrastructure should not be surprising. Beijing’s campaign has been going on for years. Only recently, since the PRC has shown its true colors with threatening operations against Taiwan and deplorable violations of the rights of its citizens, has the spotlight illuminated the CCP’s intense espionage activities.
Alaska a Target-Rich Environment
Of great interest to China is the missile detection and identification radar called Cobra Dane positioned at Eareckson Air Station, Shemya, AK. First installed in 1976, the radar system sits nearly 1,500 miles west of Anchorage. The Missile Defense Agency explained why this is an enticing intelligence target: “The upgrade improved midcourse sensor coverage by providing acquisition, tracking, object classification, and data that can be used for cueing, launch of interceptor missiles, and course updates of interceptors while retaining the site’s legacy intelligence and space track missions.” The infamous Chinese spy balloon passed in the vicinity of the Cobra Dane radar station in January.
Beijing is in the midst of an all-out campaign to spy on America — whether buying real estate close to American military bases, like the recent land grab near Grand Forks Air Force Base, ND, where sensitive sensor testing is taking place, or flying balloons over defense installations. The incursion by Chinese spy tourists is another example of why the United States must sharpen its vigilance.
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