From The Wall Street Journal, via A Glimpse of the World:
Back in the 1980s, David Szady was among the premier Soviet spy catchers at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, studying every aspect of the Kremlin’s mole network. Today, he’s mobilizing agents across the country to sniff out spies from a new rival: Beijing.
“China is the biggest [espionage] threat to the U.S. today,” says Mr. Szady, now 61 years old and assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division.
In one of their biggest initiatives after the fight against terrorism, the FBI and Justice Department have sent hundreds of new counterintelligence agents into the bureau’s 56 field offices, many with a specific focus on China. There is a cloak-and-dagger element to some of this: A principal FBI team focusing on Chinese economic espionage, including some undercover operatives, occupies an unmarked floor in a Silicon Valley office park near a popular Chinese restaurant.
But this is an altogether different battle from the one with the Soviets. Thousands of Chinese nationals regularly come to the U.S. as students and businessmen, some working for major U.S. defense contractors ” something the Russians could only have dreamed of during the Cold War. They are welcomed with open arms by universities and companies who prize their technical acumen and links to capital and low-cost labor back home.