The United States must take more precautions to protect its military bases from spying by the Chinese Communist Party, two House chairmen told The Daily Signal on Monday. 

“The CCP continues to surveil and probe American defenses even here on U.S. soil,” Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, told The Daily Signal in a written statement. 

“That’s why we need to take commonsense precautions like preventing CCP-linked entities from purchasing land near our military bases or other national security-related infrastructure,” Gallagher said.

The Daily Signal first reported Friday on documents, obtained by The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project, that reveal over a dozen reported incidents of Chinese nationals who sent drones over Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam to take photos and video of points of entry at the Hawaii base. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.) 

“We cannot allow the CCP to collect valuable intelligence here at home that they might leverage in the event of a crisis,” Gallagher said of the Chinese Communist Party.

In October, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee launched an investigation of Chinese espionage at U.S. military installations, Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., said.  

“Reports of Chinese espionage on U.S. soil are deeply concerning,” Comer told The Daily Signal on Monday, adding: “The committee has met with department stakeholders [and] visited U.S. bases, and our investigation is ongoing. It is critical that we ensure the security of our most sensitive military installations and protect the service members operating within them.”

Also in October, Comer joined Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., chairman of House Oversight’s subcommittee on national security, the border, and foreign affairs, in sending a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

“Chinese nationals, sometimes posing as tourists, have repeatedly accessed, or attempted to access, U.S. military bases and other sensitive government facilities as often as one hundred times in recent years,” the two lawmakers wrote Austin and Wray.

Documents obtained by the Oversight Project from law enforcement at the Pearl Harbor military base include cases of Chinese nationals taking photos and video images of the base while claiming to be visitors. 

For instance, when two Chinese nationals were stopped Oct. 29, “the subjects stated they are visiting Hawaii for two days and have no hotel room,” according to a Navy record obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. 

In September, Gallagher led a letter to Austin and Wray from Republican members of his select committee, requesting a briefing on China’s acting inside the United States to gain access to military, economic, and technological information.

The select committee’s letter noted that potential Chinese agents “infiltrated a U.S. Army test range, accessed numerous missile sites, and used drone technology to surveil the grounds.” 

The letter also said scuba divers believed to be from China were found near “a launch site for U.S. spy satellites and other sensitive military equipment.”

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