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Tags: china | high tech | spying
OPINION

China's High-Tech War Steals U.S. Innovation Advantage

a computer board with a chip decorated with the chinese government flag
(Dreamstime)

Larry Bell By Wednesday, 29 May 2024 01:47 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Beijing’s Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders figured out a long time ago that it’s a lot easier, faster, and cheaper to steal strategic military, commercial and scientific innovations from other countries — America in particular — than to develop them internally.

Key among these currently sought after breakthrough cutting-edge Intellectual Property (IP) technologies are Artificial Intelligence (AI), next generation 6G wireless telecommunications, and security sensitive military and domestic spying devices.

As reported in a June 2023 letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland from Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., Chairman of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party and Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, Chinese IP theft is estimated to cost U.S. taxpayers $600 billion per year.

This doesn’t count immeasurable corporate losses of stolen business investments and compromised national security readiness.

China’s Artificial Intelligence War

Beijing views AI as a vital means to gain a strategic advantage over the U.S. and our allies in building a dominant military, as an enabler of surveillance and repression to bolster its illiberal model of governance, and to drive and manage vast expansion of global manufacturing supply chain control.

Their goal is to become a global leader in the AI field by 2030 through acquisition of multiple innovations and creation of top-quality personnel training centers.

A 2023 report published by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a nonprofit think tank, identifies two intensifying tectonic trends in the security environment that put the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on a collision course.

The first trend involves “extreme” strategic competition that spans the diplomatic, economic, military and governance arenas wherein emerging AI technologies will play a decisive role in the contest between the two superpowers over the future of global power, including by shaping the military balance.

The second trend is a race to develop new AI technologies such as those reflected by such recent breakthroughs as ChatGPT, DALL•E, and other generative AI models incubated by the civilian sector which can be applied for a wide range of military applications.

The Next-Gen. Wireless Race for 6G

Another CNAS report warns that “The country that leads the development and deployment of 6G — the next generation of wireless telecommunications — will control critical infrastructure that is integral to global economic competitiveness, national security, and the functioning of society.”

Here, the PRC’s 14th Five-Year Plan for National Informatization ranks development and rollout of a 6G infrastructure as among the government’s top priorities, just as it did with 5G.

Although 6G is not expected to be commercially available until 2030, Chinese firms which now maintain 70% of the world’s base stations and 80% of 5G connected devices highlight the importance of planning and early market entry.

The PRC’s approach to 6G mirrors its approach to 5G, with heavy government leveraging of subsidies, credit facilities, tax breaks, and related forms of state support to boost the domestic equipment manufacturing capacity and position of Chinese firms along with a backbone infrastructure of AI and advanced computer chips.

Beyond reaping 6G economic benefits, the PRC also aims to lead in its military applications.

By 2022 Chinese researchers had reportedly developed a 6G laser device that can detect stealth aircraft, enhance high-speed space communications, and bolster China’s hypersonic missile program.

Other 6G applications will predictably improve China’s surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, augment their military personnel training and streamline battle command and control processes.

Espionage and Sabotage of U.S. Security

Then there’s the dangerous security matter of PRC’s theft of IT to steal other secrets and privacy through domestic and military espionage.

China’s recent audacity to fly a large surveillance balloon across the entire country including sensitive military installations made little effort to conceal this national security threat.

U.S. authorities have confirmed that the balloon was made by a manufacturer with a direct relationship with the Chinese military and carried antennas and sensors for collecting intelligence and communications.

Also hiding in plain sight, Chinese-made cranes made by ZPMC operating at American shipping ports including several used by military, are suspected as a possible spying tool with sophisticated sensors to register and track the provenance and destination of containers carrying materials being shipped in or out of the country.

Other Chinese-manufactured surveillance equipment of concern to U.S. national security officials include nearly all of the world’s new shipping containers and management via a shipping-data service amid Beijing’s growing control of ports around the world through strategic investments.

Whereas a long-awaited Aug. 2023 Biden executive order authorizes the U.S. Treasury secretary to prohibit or restrict Chinese technology purchases in some critical sectors, congressional Republicans argue that the directive is rife with loopholes such as applying only to future investments.

Citing China’s rob, replicate and replace technology strategy, Motorola Solutions chairman and CEO Greg Brown apparently agrees.

Speaking last Sunday on the Maria Bartiromo “Sunday Morning Futures” program Brown discussed how his company — one if the early ones to partner with a Chinese company, Hylera — rapidly had its emergency information innovations purloined and replaced without an ability of the U.S. firm to compete on a large volume, low-cost basis.

Brown warns that while the U.S. government now bans the purchase of some new Chinese systems, others, including video security cameras, are still operating in vulnerable military and other sensitive locations.

It’s already a highly dangerous matter of too little, too late.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 12 books is "Architectures Beyond Boxes and Boundaries: My Life By Design" (2022). Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.

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LarryBell
China’s recent audacity to fly a large surveillance balloon across the entire country including sensitive military installations made little effort to conceal this national security threat.
china, high tech, spying
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2024-47-29
Wednesday, 29 May 2024 01:47 PM
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