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Alaska’s lawmakers respond to report of attempted Chinese spying in Alaska

 ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Chinese citizens posing as tourists but suspected of being spies have made several attempts in recent years to gain access to military facilities in this vast state studded with sensitive bases, according to U.S. officials.

Alaska’s lawmakers respond to report of attempted Chinese spying in Alaska

Published: Jun. 5, 2023

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Alaska’s congressional delegation is responding to a report of Chinese spies trying to access one of the state’s military bases.

According to USA Today, Chinese citizens posing as tourists “have made several attempts” to snoop on American military bases in recent years including in Fairbanks.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she received a classified briefing last year about attempted Chinese espionage in America.

“We want to show off our military strength. But there are some things that are not for the general public, and they’re certainly not for the likes of Chinese spies,” said Murkowski.

On May 31, USA Today reported: “In one incident, a vehicle with Chinese citizens blew past a security checkpoint at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks. The vehicle was eventually stopped, and a search found a drone inside the vehicle. The occupants claimed they were tourists who had gotten lost.”

Department of Defense spokesperson Sue Gough said, “The safety and security of our military personnel and installations remains a top priority for Secretary Austin and Deputy Secretary Hicks. The possibility of intrusion or surveillance against our facilities is always a concern. We work every day with local, State, and Federal law enforcement officials, as well as our allies and partners, to protect our military bases against these threats at home and abroad. We also employ a wide range of protective measures to ensure the safety of our people, our facilities, and the missions they perform in defense of the Nation.”

Alaska hosts several US military bases, including Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson where the president’s plane refueled during his trip to Japan.

We reached out to the Chinese Embassy in Washington for comment.

Spokesperson Mr. Liu Pengyu said, “The accusations of “Chinese spies” are purely ill-intentioned fabrications. We urge the relevant US officials to abandon the Cold War mentality, stop groundless accusations, and do more things that are conducive to enhancing mutual trust between the two countries and friendship between the two peoples.”

Alaska’s junior Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) tweeted, “this is another wake-up call that we are in a new era of authoritarian aggression led by dictators in China and Russia. It’s also another example of just how important Alaska is for America’s national defense.”

But Congresswoman Peltola (D-Alaska) said Alaskans should not be overly concerned.

“I have full faith in the Pentagon. I have full faith in the American government to make sure they will make sure that we are protected,” said Peltola.

Sen. Sullivan said he is continuing to press for more details on these alleged security breaches. However, many of the details will remain classified.

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