Texas Senator Ted Cruz raised alarms about a potential Chinese Communist Party espionage plot at the University of Texas at Austin.
This is exactly why the U.S. needs to fundamentally reassess the US-China relationship. We cannot continue to allow the CCP to continue spying & stealing from the U.S.”
🚨BREAKING: FBI suspects Chinese Communist Government espionage of #COVID19 research from Texas’ @UTAustin.
This is exactly why the U.S. needs to fundamentally reassess the US-China relationship. We cannot continue to allow the CCP to continue spying & stealing from the U.S.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) July 30, 2020
The Houston Chronicle reported that the FBI is investigating if the Chinese government made an attempt to illegally obtain Wuhan virus research from American universities, which includes the University of Texas campuses at Austin and San Antonio, according to UT officials’ confirmation to the Chronicle.
The FBI informed UT Austin officials last week that the shutdown of the Chinese Consulate in Houston kicked off the probe. UT’s interim executive vice president and provost Daniel Jaffe emailed the university’s faculty, graduate and post-doctorate students about this update on July 27, 2020.
After this “ongoing and evolving national situation,” the FBI will reach out to UT researchers “about the role of the consulate and efforts by the Chinese government to illegally procure research from American universities,” Jaffe stated.The University of Texas at San Antonio was also contacted by the FBI.
Bernard Arulanandam, vice president for research, economic development and knowledge enterprise at UTSA, recounted in an email to faculty and students that the FBI informed the university on July 22 about concerns regarding the consulate’s role and Chinese government’s attempts to obtain intellectual property from U.S. colleges.
In their email updates to their respective faculties and student bodies, both Jaffe and Arulanandam said they did not know who would receive the contact from the FBI or for what reason.
“It’s not unusual for federal law enforcement officers to ask to speak with researchers if deemed necessary to support criminal or national security investigations,” Jaffe wrote in his email to the UT-Austin community.
During a July 24 teleconference briefing on the consulate’s closure, U.S. government officials said the Chinese consulate in Houston was connected to an investigation of grant fraud at a Texas research institution, but no university was specifically named.
“Consulate officials were directly involved in communications with researchers and guided them on what information to collect,” a Justice Department official stated during that teleconference.
A State Department official continued, “If you look at what happened with the corona outbreak in China in 2019, they have been very clear about their intent to be the first to the … market with a vaccine and the medical connections here aren’t lost on me.”
A network of individuals connected to China’s military hid their military affiliation when they applied for student visas, according to a report from U.S. government officials.
The Justice Department indicted two suspected Chinese hackers, asserting that they had singled out U.S. companies conducting Wuhan virus research.
Government officials have voiced concerns in 2020 about consulates using spy networks on campuses “that report on fellow students.”
Given the extensive nature of Chinese espionage, policymakers need to strongly consider imposing heightened restrictions on Chinese migration from here on out.
Former Mexican Defense Minister is Arrested in Los Angeles for Allegedly Protecting a Drug Cartel
More Proof that Mexico is An Institutional Dumpster Fire
Retired Mexican General Salvador Cienfuegos was arrested on October 15, 2020.
According to allegations from U.S. prosecutors, General Cienfuegos received bribes from a powerful Mexican cartel and allowed to smuggle drugs into the United States.
An indictment that was unsealed on October 17, revealed that from December 2015 to February 2017, while he served as Mexico’s Secretary of National Defense, Cienfuegos allegedly worked on behalf of a drug cartel. In working with this drug cartel, Cienfuegos earned the nickname of “El Padrino” (The Godfather) by helping the H-2 Cartel move drugs from Mexico to the U.S.
“The defendant [Cienfuegos] abused that public position to help the H-2 Cartel, an extremely violent Mexican drug trafficking organization, traffic thousands of kilograms of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States,” prosecutors contended in a letter sent to a U.S. District Court judge in New York.
“In exchange for bribe payments,” the letter argued, he allowed the cartel “to operate with impunity in Mexico” while it operated distribution networks in cities such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas and in other states such as Ohio, Minnesota, North Carolina and New York.
U.S. agents took the retired general into custody on October 15 at Los Angeles International Airport. Cienfuegos is expected to be transferred to New York.
Cienfuegos served as defense secretary from 2012 to 2018 under the administration of then-President Enrique Peña Nieto.
“The main problem in Mexico is corruption,” López Obrador declared during a news briefing on October 16 regarding the incident.
In López Obrador’s view, it is “regrettable” that someone in such a high position of government has deep connections to drug cartels.
“This is a process of progressive degradation,” López Obrador continued, “and we are trying now to figure out how deep the corruption goes.”
As of now, Cienfuegos is the most prominent Mexican official to have been arrested on drug trafficking charges. In 2019, U.S. authorities arrested Genaro García Luna, the Secretary of Public Security under the administration of former President Felipe Calderón, for allegedly being involved in drug trafficking.
According to the U.S. indictment, Cienfuegos was working with H-2, an alleged branch of the Beltrán-Leyva criminal cartel. On top of that, prosecutors claims that the retired general received bribes to shield the cartel and its leaders. He then proceeded to inform them beforehand of military actions planned against them and even used troops to attack a rival cartel.
Mexico is clearly on the ropes institutionally. With a current president (AMLO) who wants to take a “hugs not bullets” approach to crime, the country will continue to spiral into chaos as drug cartels become even more powerful. President Trump has been right all along in building a wall to protect America from the potential spillover effects of Mexico’s drug war.
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