Thursday, July 18, 2024

That Dangerous Is China

While industrial espionage is not new, instances involving Chinese operatives appear to have increased in recent years. Alleged incidents include thefts of intellectual property from companies like Google, as well as accusations of IP theft from Tesla, Micron, and Motorola, according to US authorities.

Europe has also experienced targeting, resulting in several high-profile arrests of Chinese operatives in April, with reports of tactics involving “honeypots” and influence operations.

Encouraged by the US, European policymakers are increasingly viewing China not only as an economic opportunity but also as a security threat, especially regarding its support for Russia amid the Ukraine conflict. G7 leaders recently threatened China with additional sanctions, accusing it of exacerbating the conflict and undermining peace efforts.

US-China tensions are further strained over Taiwan, with Beijing accusing Washington of provocative actions.

The G7 is escalating pressure on China’s economic policies, with the EU imposing new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicle companies and the US levying tariffs on clean energy products and other imports. In retaliation, China has initiated measures such as anti-dumping investigations into chemical imports.

The ongoing dispute over TikTok continues, with US President Joe Biden signing legislation requiring the app to separate from its Chinese parent company by January 1 or face a ban. Concerns cited include fears that user data from its 170 million US users could be exploited for espionage or propaganda purposes by the Chinese Communist Party.

Former US national security advisor HR McMaster notes that the business sector has now become the primary battleground for espionage.

“The majority of research and development with national security implications, which used to be conducted through government programs, now takes place in the private sector. This makes these companies highly attractive targets from a Chinese perspective,” McMaster stated.

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