The US says China is stealing technology to modernize its military, and that could erode American dominance

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Reuters

  • China is stealing technology from foreign militaries to advance and modernize its military, a new Pentagon report claimed.
  • The report said that China uses “cyber theft” to try and create a “world-class” military that is continually receiving increased investment.
  • This could harm the dominance of the US military, the report said, as is has “the potential to degrade core US operational and technological advantages.”
  • It also says that “China’s leaders increasingly see the United States as adopting a more confrontational approach in an attempt to contain China’s rise.”
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The US accused China of stealing technology from foreign militaries to create a modern, “world-class” system, and warned that it could erode the US’ dominance.

A new Pentagon report said that China uses “cyber theft” and other methods to bolster its military, which the report claims will continue to grow rapidly.

“China uses a variety of methods to acquire foreign military and dual-use technologies, including targeted foreign direct investment, cyber theft, and exploitation of private Chinese nationals’ access to these technologies, as well as harnessing its intelligence services, computer intrusions, and other illicit approaches,” it said.

One example outlined in the report is from 2018, when China used “dynamic random access memory, aviation technologies, and anti-submarine warfare technologies'” to acquire “sensitive, dual-use, or military grade equipment.”

Read more: China is boosting its undersea-warfare capabilities – and stealing US technology to do so, a US admiral says

“China is actively pursuing an intensive campaign to obtain foreign technology,” it said, accusing China of using techniques like “industrial and cyber espionage.”

China navy

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Lamar Salter

The report also said these actions could harm the US’ military dominance, giving China “the potential to degrade core US operational and technological advantages.”

The annual report, mandated by Congress, outlined China’s plans to modernize its military and increase its influence, while stating that China has retained its status as the world’s second-largest military spender.

It said that “China’s defense budget has nearly doubled during the past 10 years” and that this spending looks unlikely to slow down.

“China has the political will and fiscal strength to sustain a steady increase in defense spending during the next decade.”

The country’s long-term goal, the report said, is to increasingly rely on domestically produced technology rather than imported technology – something that could threaten countries that “export high-tech products.”

China’s leaders, the report said, are ” focused on realizing a powerful and prosperous China that is equipped with a ‘world-class’ military and securing China’s status as a great power.”

Chinese military troops march at a welcoming ceremony for US President Donald Trump during his Asia trip in November 2017.

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Chinese military troops march at a welcoming ceremony for US President Donald Trump during his Asia trip in November 2017.
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Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images

It also said that China sees the US as working more directly to stop China’s military from developing.

Read more: China is building a powerful navy to take on the US in the Pacific – here’s what its arsenal looks like

“China’s leaders increasingly see the United States as adopting a more confrontational approach in an attempt to contain China’s rise. “

US Navy Adm. Philip Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in April that China was using stolen US technology to advance its undersea-warfare capabilities.

He said that China was “stealing technology in just about every domain and trying to use it to their advantage.”

He said that China is “pursuing other technologies to give them better insights into our operations in the undersea domain,” including quieter submarines and new sensors.