China continues to upgrade its military to a major global power and to use espionage to steal cutting-edge military technology, according to a newly released Pentagon military report.
“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 Congressionally mandated Department of Defense 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 continued.
Recently the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, warned Congress that American companies which have made businesses in China often benefit the Chinese military indirectly, citing Google as an example.
The report said that China used these techniques in order to acquire sensitive, dual-use or military equipment, including aviation and anti-submarine warfare technologies, from the United States.
Beijing also exploits its citizens and foreigners of Chinese descent living abroad to further the Chinese Communist Party’s goals, the report says, “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.”
Some of China’s most advanced technology includes hypersonic missiles, weapons that travel at least five times sound speed.
“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, referencing a missile that can travel close to the water to avoid detection and missile defence.
It also details the growth in China’s defence budget and its military capabilities, saying it has “nearly doubled during the past 10 years”.