Military technology funded by American taxpayers is flowing to China despite an existing blacklist.
Some of the technology sold to China was developed using millions of dollars in government grants and Pentagon contracts, the Post reported.
Hypersonic missiles, a next-generation technology, fly fast and low and are highly maneuverable, designed to nimbly evade current defense systems, according to Bloomberg.
Since 2019, products from almost 50 U.S. companies have passed through middlemen into the hands of Chinese missile developers, which are included by default in a national security blacklist.
Anonymous Chinese scientists told the Post the technology “fills critical gaps” domestically and is “key” to advancing militarily.
“The American technology is superior,” said a Chinese university scientist who tests hypersonic vehicles. “We can’t do certain things without foreign technology.”
Another scientist told the Post that the imported tech is “easy to share” between military research institutes, which ask each other to borrow foreign software.
A Chinese test launch of a hypersonic weapon, disputed by China, was called “very close” to a “Sputnik moment” by Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Bloomberg reported.
That test would have been aided by American simulation software that was sold to China, the Post reported. But it could not confirm whether the software was used for that purpose.
In that case, the Chinese middleman company had openly admitted it sold software to blacklisted Chinese missile groups. The China distributor at one American firm that sold the simulation software told the Post he didn’t check into that because he “trust[ed]” the middleman and had warned them not to sell to restricted groups.
A former senior Commerce Department official told the Post that such negligence could be a regulatory violation. He also said the Chinese middleman could be liable, “because even foreign persons are required to comply with the U.S. export control rules.”