By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
We have watched for years the chaos at the U.S. Southern border with Mexico. While there has been a single focus on Latin Americans crossing into the United States, very little has been reported about the volume of Chinese. This should stimulate some critical thinking and questions.
Is this espionage, operatives, or the building of a force for other reasons? In February of 2020, NBC News was asking some of the same questions.
A Chinese student walked around a perimeter fence at a U.S. naval base in Key West, taking pictures of government buildings. Stopped by police, he said he was trying to capture images of the sunrise.
And nine days after that, two more Chinese students drove past a guard at the same naval base. When stopped by security 30 minutes later, they voluntarily displayed the videos and photos they had taken of the base.
The first Chinese student arrested at the naval base in Key West was Zhao Qianli, 20, who was taken into custody on Sept. 26, 2018.
Zhao entered the base by walking along the facility’s secure fence line and trudging through the beach, court documents say.
Zhao headed directly to the Joint Interagency Task Force South property, according to court records, where he took several photographs on his Motorola cellphone and his Canon EOS digital camera.
His devices contained photos and videos of sensitive equipment at the facility’s “antenna farm,” as well as images of warning signs that read “Military Installation” and “Restricted Area,” according to court documents.
Zhao initially told military police that he was “lost” and that he was a “dishwasher from New Jersey.” In later conversations with the FBI, Zhao said he traveled to Key West to “see the sights, such as the Hemingway House,” but there were no images of tourist attractions on his phone, according to his sentencing memo.
Zhao admitted to receiving military training as a university student in China and was found to have a “police blouse” and a People’s Republic of China Interior Ministry belt buckle at his hotel, the memo says.