According to reports, more than a hundred confirmed incidences of Chinese nationals masquerading as tourists to get access to U.S. military bases and other government locations have been documented by the FBI and Department of Defense (DoD).
Several U.S. officials recently informed media outlets that the culprits, called gate crashers, vary from Chinese nationals seen entering a missile range in New Mexico to scuba divers spotted swimming in dirty water near a government-run rocket launch site in Florida.
Authorities think the Chinese government is sometimes coercing its citizens into duty in order to try out and report back on security methods at the facilities; thus, this rising trend poses a possible espionage concern.
A spokeswoman for the FBI commented on the study, saying that China poses the most significant long-term counterintelligence danger to American secrets.
A representative for the FBI told a media outlet that the Chinese government is engaging in a vast, varied campaign of theft and harmful influence without respect for laws or international standards that the FBI will not put up with.
At the end of last year, a report revealed that the FBI and the Defense Department had a study focusing on preventing such attacks. It’s unclear how many were completely harmless. Some Chinese citizens, for instance, have claimed they were using Google Maps to go to the closest McDonald’s or Burger King, which is on a military post.
Other, more worrying occurrences were Chinese nationals who showed up at a hotel on a military post claiming to have a reservation there.
According to the a media repor, a group of Chinese nationals posing as tourists recently attempted to get past security at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, by saying they had booked rooms at a hotel on the post. The 11th Airborne Division specializes in Arctic combat and is stationed at Fort Wainwright.
Concerned that the increasing number of occurrences might slip between the cracks since most trespass laws are state and municipal, and not federal, Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) said that Congress could explore legislation on the matter.