Issues of espionage are arising at the American military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, a striking location due to the surprise attack by Japan in 1941, which led the United States to enter World War II. Reports have surfaced of Chinese citizens attempting illegal access or surveillance in 14 cases recorded at or near the base since 2018.
The documents obtained by the Supervision Project of think tank The Heritage Foundation reveal cases where Chinese drones were flown over the base, were suspected to have taken photos of the military installation’s entry points, and have attempted to infiltrate the base. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has investigated all cases in the last six years.
Some notable incidents from 2018 to 2023 include a couple of Chinese citizens recording videos and taking digital photographs outside one of the base’s entrance gates and a Chinese individual taking suspicious photos of the military installation.
Another case involved a Chinese man who flew a drone with a camera near the gate, while a guard at a key entrance to the military installation informed authorities of the suspicious activity. However, while the incidents were investigated and records were kept, the reasons for closing the investigations were not included in the records.
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Accountability has opened investigations into the matter of possible espionage by Chinese citizens. Republican members of the select committee sent a notice to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting a summary of China’s actions within the United States that sought to gain access to military, economic, and technological information. They have requested precautions to protect military bases from espionage by the Chinese Communist Party. Despite the investigations and precautions, the documents indicate that the Chinese espionage case remains unresolved.