Last week, the United States ordered the closure of China’s consulate in Houston, accusing Chinese diplomats of turning the facility into an illegal espionage center. However, according to a report this week, the consulates of San Francisco and New York are the central location for espionage operations in the United States.
An order was issued to “protect American intellectual property and private information of Americans,” a spokesman for the US National Security Council said at the time.
However, the problem is that the consulate, based in Houston, Texas, is not the main center of the communist nation’s espionage.
The Chinese Communist Party works for two main espionage outlets, their consulates in San Francisco and New York.
“San Francisco is a real gem, but the United States will not close it,”; said a former U.S. intelligence official at Axios this week.
The closure of either of these two consulates is less than that of Houston, which the Trump administration seems to be setting an example.
China has long been accused of using its embassies and consulates for questionable purposes, such as gathering information about Uighurs and Chinese dissident groups and exercising control over Chinese students.
As one president of the Chinese Student and Research Organization (CSSA) told Foreign Policy magazine in 2018, “it seems to me that the trend is that the consulate is trying to control the CSSA more and more.”
According to Axios, the embassy and consulate paid students to attend demonstrations for visiting Chinese leaders, and asked CSSA presidents to hold party-sponsored training sessions and send photos of the government to “ensure compliance.”
San Francisco has long been the better known of the two consulates for espionage.
Foreign intelligence operations in the Gulf region have focused on gathering trade secrets and technology from nearby Silicon Valley, Politico reports.
“This is a very subtle form of intelligence gathering, which is more business-related and focused,” said one of the intelligence representatives in the 2018 issue.
The source added that spies “are a significant part of the everyday environment” in the region.
In addition to gathering technology secrets, Chinese officials have long focused on gathering intelligence on US domestic political affairs.
In 2018, reports Politico, at that time, in the state of California, the state of Dianna Fenstein, the state of California was hired as a high-class employee to report on US policy.
Feinstein, California, worked for the Chinese spy for almost two decades as her driver, a gopher in her office, and a liaison with the Asian-American community, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The newspaper reported that the man even attended the functions of the Chinese consulate for the California senator.
At the time, Feinstein’s spokeswoman said her office was not commenting on staffing issues.