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Chinese spies are stealing US military secrets, Pentagon warns

Military vehicles carry DF-5B intercontinental ballistic missiles during a parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II held in front of Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, Sept. 3, 2015. (Voice of America/Released)
May 03, 2019

China is using espionage to acquire U.S. secrets and bolster its own military, a new Pentagon report says.

In an annual report to Congress released on Thursday, the Pentagon outlined espionage as one of the components linked with China’s major military and security that has allowed them to make major strides in their progress.

“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,” the report said.

“China obtains foreign technology through imports, foreign direct investment, the establishment of foreign research and development (R&D) centers, joint ventures, research and academic partnerships, talent recruitment, and industrial and cyberespionage,” the report added.

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Further, China has been using its own citizens or natives in an aggressive effort to support the espionage movement.

The report described China’s exploitation of its citizens, adding that it’s a “cornerstone of China’s strategy includes appealing to overseas Chinese citizens or ethnic Chinese citizens of other countries to advance CCP objectives through soft power or, sometimes, coercion and blackmail.”

Just this week, a former CIA case officer and Army veteran – and Chinese native – pleaded guilty to conspiring with China to transmit national defense information in exchange for cash.

These tactics have allowed China to secure sensitive intelligence form the U.S. on military equipment, especially aircraft and submarine technology.

Seemingly as a result, China has made significant military progress and has vastly expanded its defense budget, which “has nearly doubled during the past 10 years,” according to the report.

Hypersonic missile technology is just one area where China’s recent progress is visible.

“China has tested hypersonic glide vehicles. In August 2018, China successfully tested the XINGKONG-2 (Starry Sky-2), which it publicly described as a hypersonic waverider vehicle,” the report said.

Further, China’s new aircraft carrier – the first built solely in the communist nation – is expected to join its naval fleet at the end of the year, and a second in 2022.

Another significant growth is China’s submarine fleet, which is expected to climb “to between 65 and 70 submarines by 2020” which will include a guided-missile nuclear attack submarine within the next decade.

Some of China’s military improvements have also taken place in the South China Sea where they are increasing their military presence.

“Anti-ship cruise missiles and long-range surface-to-air missiles have been deployed to Spratly Islands outposts, and China’s strategic bombers have conducted take-off and landing drills on Woody Island in the Paracel Islands,” the report noted.

“China states that international military presence within the South China Sea is a challenge to its sovereignty. China has continued to escalate coercive tactics to enforce its claims within the South China Sea,” the report said.