Last week, the United States ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, accusing Chinese diplomats of making the facility an illegal spy center. However, according to this week’s report, the consulates of San Francisco and New York are the central points of Chinese espionage operations in the United States.
An order was issued to “protect American intellectual property and American private information,” a spokesman for the US National Security Council said at the time.
The problem, however, is that the consulate in Houston is not the primary point of espionage for the communist nation.
The Chinese Communist Party operates two major espionage hotspots, their consulates in San Francisco and New York.
“San Francisco is a real gem, but the US will not close it,”; he told former US intelligence official Axios this week.
The closure of either of these two consulates is less likely than in the case of Houston, from which the Trump report seems to be an example.
China has long been accused of using its embassies and consulates for dubious purposes, such as gathering information on Uyghurs and Chinese dissident groups and exercising control over Chinese students.
As one president of the Chinese Student and Science Associations (CSSA) told a foreign policy magazine in 2018, “I feel the tendency is for the consulate to try to control CSSA more and more.”
According to Axios, the embassy and consulates paid the students to participate in demonstrations for the visit of Chinese leaders, as well as asked CSSA presidents to hold study sessions on party thinking and to send photographs to the government to “ensure compliance.”
When it comes to espionage, San Francisco has long been one of the most important consulates.
According to the politician, foreign intelligence operations in the Gulf area focus on gathering trade secrets and technology from the nearby Silicon Valley.
“It is a very subtle form of intelligence gathering that is more interconnected and business-oriented,” said one intelligence officer in 2018.
The source added that spies “are very much part of the everyday environment” in the region.
In addition to acquiring technological secrets, Chinese officials have long focused on gathering intelligence on domestic US political affairs.
In 2018, Politico informed the Chinese government at the time that he had taken a well-placed worker to the California office of Senator Dianne Feinstein to report on American policy.
Feinstein (D-Calif.) Has been employing a Chinese spy for nearly two decades when her chauffeur, uncle in his office and contact with the Asian American community reported the San Francisco Chronicle at the time.
The report says the man even attended Chinese consular posts for a California senator.
A spokeswoman for Feinstein said at the time that her office did not comment on staff matters.