Since the 1980's, the US has caught and imprisoned over a dozen people who were spying on American government agencies and corporations. So we catch Chinese spies once every few years. With that kind of frequency, you'd probably assume that China doesn't have that many intelligence assets in America at any given time. Based on those numbers, a safe estimate would be in the hundreds, or perhaps thousands.
But it turns out that those estimates would be incredible low. According to Guo Wengui, a billionaire investor who has fled China and moved to New York since becoming a major critic of the Chinese regime, there are probably 25,000 spies in America who are working for Beijing.
Those numbers are derived from what he claims, are his close ties to multiple Chinese intelligence agencies. That may sound far fetched to most Americans, but in China the public and private sectors are closely aligned. They're practically the same entity. So we should take his warnings very seriously, which were brought up in a recent interview with The Freebeacon.
Guo said that Chinese intelligence operations in the United States sharply increased after the 2012 Communist Party Congress that brought current leader Xi Jinping to power.
"Before 2012, cumulatively China had around 10,000 to 20,000 agents working in the United States," he said. "These agents had been sent to work in the United States over a 50 year period of time, and they were working in a defensive mode."
According to the businessman, defensive intelligence was mainly focused on learning about the United States. The operations then shifted in 2012 to "offensive" spying, he said.
"By offensive [operations], I mean to be ready to destroy the U.S. in ways they can," Guo said.
And these spies don't just consist of Chinese immigrants. According to Guo, many of them are treasonous Americans who have sold their country out for a paycheck, and they can be ruthless.
China's budget for intelligence gathering before 2012 was around $600 million annually.
Around 2012, a decision was made by Chinese leaders to dispatch another 5,000 spies to the United States. "Some of them were sent as students, some as businessmen, and some as immigrants, but all together, 5,000," Guo said.
"In addition to that, they developed between 15,000 to 18,000 other spies, and these are not directly sent but these are developed within the United States."
The recruited agents are not limited to Asians and Chinese-Americans but include all ethnic groups, including Hispanics, Blacks, and Caucasians.
"And now the budget is between $3 billion to $4 billion annually, and this is information up to one month ago," he said.
Guo said American counterintelligence agencies face several problems, mainly a lack of knowledge about Chinese intelligence agencies.
"You don't know which organizations in China are responsible for sending these spies, how they are managed, and to what purpose," he said. "And the U.S. adopts a very legalistic perspective to look at the question of spying. Yet, for China their methods are not what the United States understands."
"These spies, when they come to the United States, they could sleep around, they could put poison in your glass of wine to kill you; completely unscrupulous," he said.