Those investigations involve attempts by Chinese spies to recruit informants, steal information, hack into systems and monitor and harass Chinese dissidents in the United States, including using so-called police outposts.
“They’re going after everything,” Mr. Wray said. “What makes the P.R.C. intelligence apparatus so pernicious is the way it uses every means at its disposal against us all at once, blending cyber, human intelligence, corporate transactions and investments to achieve its strategic goals.”
But critics say some of the U.S. government’s counterintelligence efforts are racially biased and paranoid, amounting to a new Red Scare — a charge at least partly supported by the cases the Justice Department has had to drop and by its shutdown of the Trump-era China Initiative program.
China has undertaken its own expansive counterintelligence crusade, one that echoes Mao-era political campaigns. On July 1, China enacted a sweeping expansion of a counterespionage law. And in August, the Ministry of State Security announced that “all members of society” should help fight foreign spying, and offered rewards for anyone providing information.
The rival governments have also established new listening posts and secret intelligence-sharing agreements with other governments. American and Chinese agents have intensified their operations against each other in pivotal cities, from Brussels to Abu Dhabi to Singapore, with each side looking to influence foreign officials and recruit well-placed assets.