FBI Stops Construction of The Chinese ‘Spy’ Pagoda in USA Capitol

FBI Stops Construction of The Chinese ‘Spy’ Pagoda in USA Capitol

The relations between China and the United States of America are not hidden from the world. And the mischievous intentions of China are also very much known by the world. A similar suspicious act of China has caught the attention of the US government.

In 2017, China proposed to build a 70-feet high pagoda (a tiered tower) in the US capital Washington DC. It was reportedly planned to be built on a hill near the Capitol along with a Chinese garden with temples and pavilions in the heart of the US capital. It has been reported that Beijing offered to spend $100 million for the construction.

But US counterintelligence officials halted the project after realizing that the pagoda would have been strategically placed on one of the highest points in DC, just two miles from the US Capitol – “A perfect spot for signal intelligence gathering”.

However, the Chinese government vehemently denies any attempt to spy on the United States. The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to the specific allegations.

Because it was planned to be near the US Capitol, US officials expressed concerns about the pagoda project. According to the reports based on FBI documents, there was an increased scrutiny after the Chinese officials wanted to build it with material shipped in diplomatic pouches that could not be checked by US customs.

In 2017, while investigating, the FBI warned of the risk posed by Chinese-made Huawei (one of the largest computer manufacturers) gear on cell towers near US military bases in the rural Midwest.

In 2019, the Trump administration placed Huawei on the US Commerce Department’s ‘entity list’, restricting suppliers selling technology to it due to national security concerns. As part of its move to blacklist the company, the Trump administration also barred the Chinese telecom giant from obtaining semiconductors without a special licence.

Again, the matter is now reopened by the Biden government. They subpoenaed Huawei in April 2021 to learn the company’s policy on sharing data with foreign parties that could capture its devices from cell phones, including messages and geolocation data, according to the 10-page document shown to Reuters.

In fact, the Congress approved $1.9 billion to remove Huawei and ZTE cellular technology across much of America, but none of those devices have been removed yet, and rural telecom companies are still awaiting government reimbursements.

It was revealed that the Biden administration is investigating the Chinese telecoms equipment maker over concerns that US cell towers equipped with its equipment could collect sensitive information from military bases and missile silos, which the company could then transmit to Beijing.

The U.S. telecoms regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), could ban all U.S. transactions with Huawei and require American telecom providers that still rely on its equipment to quickly remove it, or face fines or other penalties.

FBI Director Christopher Wray previously stated that if Chinese companies like Huawei are given ‘unfettered access,’ they will be able to collect information that passes through their devices or networks. Federal subsidies cannot be used by US companies to purchase Huawei telecom equipment.

He also said “We are concerned about allowing any company that is beholden to a nation-state that does not adhere to and share our values ​​to dig into our telecommunications infrastructure.”

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