China biggest threat and Russian meddle

FBI Director Christopher Wray argues the biggest peril is from China. He said the FBI is investigating economic espionage in all 50 states.

Wray described China as the broadest, most significant threat the US faces.

He said, “It covers everything from corn seeds in Iowa to wind turbines in Massachusetts and everything in between. The volume of it. The pervasiveness of it. The significance of it is something that I think this country cannot underestimate.”

He asserted China wants to become the sole dominant superpower, replacing the US as the strongest economic territory in the world.

During a week when there has been much confusion as to where President Trump stands on the question of Russian involvement in the 2016 US election, FBI Director Christopher Wray remains resolute. During the opening session of the Aspen Security Forum, Wray reasserted that Russia did indeed meddle in 2016 and continues to be a threat. But beyond today’s grabby headlines, what Wray really wanted to get across during his discussion with NBC’s Lester Holt was twofold: the seriousness of cyber threats from other nations, particularly China, and all the work his 37,000-person agency is doing to fight terrorism, put away gang members, and thwart child abusers.

After interfering in the 2016 election, Wray said Russia “continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day.” And while these efforts, aimed at “sowing discord and divisiveness” do not appear to be targeting election infrastructure, they are very active and aggressive.

“We could be a moment away from going to the next level,” he added. “So to me, it’s a threat we need to take extremely seriously and respond to with fierce determination and focus.”. Inputs aspen institute

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have discussed steps to improve bilateral ties in the wake of the July 16th summit between their countries’ top leaders.

The Russian Foreign Ministry says Lavrov and Pompeo spoke over the phone on Saturday in an effort to build on the outcome of the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump.

The ministry says the 2 officials exchanged views on possible cooperation in extending humanitarian assistance to war-torn Syria and denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

Given the adverse environment surrounding Russia, including economic sanctions imposed by Western countries, Moscow is seeking to open dialogue with Washington starting with areas where cooperation is possible.

Lavrov called for the prompt release of a Russian woman named Maria Butina, who was arrested by US authorities on suspicion of serving as a Russian agent. He claimed that Butina is facing “fabricated charges.”

Inputs NHK

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