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Ernst Counters Chinese Espionage of U.S. Military Installations

Chinese nationals have access to U.S. base in Indo-Pacific without State Department vetting.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is calling on the Department of Homeland Security to end a loophole that is allowing Chinese nationals to access U.S. territories without a visa and spy on our critical military installations in Guam. Congressman Neal Dunn (R-FL) is leading this effort in the House of Representatives.

A visa-free parole program instituted to spur economic activity has allowed Chinese nationals to travel to the Northern Mariana Islands for up to 14 days visa-free. Already, Chinese nationals have used this program to charter boats to Guam to spy on U.S. installations. Without pre-vetting from the State Department on individuals who arrive on U.S. territory, this gaping hole turns a blind eye to Chinese espionage on our most critical U.S. base in the Indo-Pacific.

“We encourage the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to change this policy and apply the visa requirements equally across territories. It is imperative we deter Chinese Communist Party aggression, espionage, and transnational repression. We strongly urge CPB to require Chinese nationals to obtain a B-1/B-2 visa to enter the CNMI from China, putting the territory in line with this this basic requirement enforced throughout the rest of the United States to ensure the safety of the homeland as a whole,” the lawmakers wrote.

Read the full letter here.