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U.S. Beefing Up Intel Network Across Asia to Counter China’s Spy Threat

(Photo by Zhang Xiaoyou - Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by Zhang Xiaoyou – Pool/Getty Images)

By: Micaela Burrow, Daily Caller News Foundation

The U.S. is constructing a network of intelligence partnerships with countries across Asia as it seeks to counter China’s offensive cyber operations and espionage, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

One initiative is a new intelligence sharing partnership with the “Quad,” a strategic group comprising the U.S., India, Australia and Japan, Bloomberg reported, citing U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss secret matters. Others involve overlapping two-way and three-way partnerships with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, India and Vietnam, the officials said, adding that the Biden administration’s major focus in the campaign is to counter Chinese cyberattacks.

“Intelligence liaison can serve as an important force multiplier,” Daniel Byman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington, told Bloomberg. “It can expand overall collection as different countries will have access to different secrets in different parts of the world.”

Officials said the main thrust of the interconnected intelligence agreements will be to create a strong defensive web against China’s massive espionage enterprise and reinforce ties with regional allies, according to Bloomberg.

The White House told the outlet U.S. efforts in the region include information sharing but declined to comment on specifics.

China’s escalating aggression has increased a sense of urgency and concern among countries like South Korea and the Philippines, the officials said, according to Bloomberg. The countries are more eager to develop defense cooperation pacts with the U.S. than they used to be. And, if Donald Trump wins the presidential election, the countries hope the security agreements will endure.

Deepening intelligence ties with Japan are a show of good faith amid historic concerns about Tokyo’s ability to keep sensitive information under wraps, the U.S. officials said.

The pacts have already produced results, officials said.

In late 2022, India repelled Chinese forces during a border clash in part because U.S. intelligence shared real-time details about Chinese People’s Liberation Army movements using its satellites, U.S. News and World Report reported.

The Quad countries announced an agreement in May 2022 to improve real-time sharing of maritime information to monitor developments in the Pacific and Indian Ocean to maintain free and open waters and security near the participants’ shores.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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