China has made economic espionage and theft of others' work and ideas "a central component of its national strategy." This was stated by the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Chris Wray, during an unprecedented public event of the leaders of the security services of the Five Eyes Alliance (US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) which was held in California. China's espionage, Wray warned, "comes at the expense of innovators in all five of our countries," and this threat "has only grown and become more dangerous and insidious in recent years." Wray said there are more than 2.000 current FBI investigations linked to China, and that the US investigative agency opens a new case involving the top Asian power every 12 hours. The security chiefs of the Five Eyes Alliance appeared together for the first time to warn about China's theft of technological innovation.
“All nations are spying,” Mike Burgess, head of Australia's security service, acknowledged during the event, "but the behavior we're talking about goes well beyond traditional espionage." The official argued that the scale of China's espionage and intellectual theft activities is unprecedented in human history, and for this reason must be forcefully denounced. The security chiefs they argued that it would be unrealistic and harmful to separate Western economies from the leading Asian power, and highlighted that for this reason the priority is rather to identify and protect sensitive areas. The meeting of heads of investigative agencies coincided with the launch of new guidelines to extend the reach of security services' contacts. The meeting took place in the shadow of events in the Middle East and concerns about increased radicalization and domestic threats. “We can focus on more than one thing at a time,” the FBI Director said, describing the threat from China as “existential.”