New Report Shows China Using Students to Steal American Tech
A new congressional report revealed that the Chinese Communist Party has established an intricate network of students who are compelled to steal American technology.
According to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission report, for years, China has made attempts to bolster its military by stealing American science and technology research. In addition, it “has built a sprawling ecosystem of structures, programs, and incentives to coopt and exploit Chinese students and scholars for the [science and technology] they acquire abroad.”
The Washington Free Beacon noted that the number of Chinese students in America has increased fivefold. A not so trivial minority of these students, who are enrolled in scientific and mathematical programs, do indeed pose national security threats to America through their theft of research.
The report indicated that China usually requires its students to conduct operations that provide material benefits to the Chinese Communist Party as a condition of their study abroad program. A good portion of the technology that is stolen by these Chinese nationals is sent by backchannels to companies and institutions connected to the Chinese military. Theoretically, such technological transfers could level the military playing field between the two countries.
“In effect, U.S. universities are training scientists and engineers who will work in a range of organizations antithetical to U.S. national security interests, including the [People’s Liberation Army],” the report stated.
The substantial influx of Chinese students who enter the United States annually presents many vetting challenges. Due to an excessive number of cases and constraints with personnel, U.S. federal authorities have only rejected less than 5 percent of visa applicants from China who have raised national security red flags, per the report.
Jack Beyer of the Washington Free Beacon gave a brief overview of what China does to subvert American institutions:
China is currently the largest perpetrator of intellectual property theft globally and uses a complex network of Confucius Institutes on campus, consulates, and government initiatives like the Thousand Talents Program to commit unprecedented amounts of data and technology theft.
China’s expansion is no joke. Despite how off-base the American government’s foreign policy has been since the end of the Cold War, namely its regime change misadventures in the Middle East, it is slowly beginning to recognize the China threat. In a letter sent out in August, the State Department issued a warning to the leadership of American colleges and universities of the threat that China poses to American higher education.
“The CCP’s actions pose an immense threat to academic freedom and to human dignity,” the letter stated. “While Americans may differ on many issues, this is a threat that unites us all.”
Although the world can be glad that Maoism was put to rest decades ago, the post-Deng Xiaoping China is still a strategic rival to the U.S. For various factions of the CCP, China is on a rendezvous with destiny and aspires to be a peer rival with the U.S. and ultimately surpass it. Unlike previous rivals, they will use unconventional and less militarized ways to spread influence. One way that the U.S. can delay China’s launch is by passing commonsense immigration restrictions and making sure that universities don’t get infiltrated by Chinese nationals who are on the payroll of the CCP.