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China Still Relying on Spying on Others to Steal Latest Military Technology: Pentagon

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

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military technology
FILE - A nuclear-powered Type 094A Jin-class ballistic missile submarine of the Chinese People's Liberation Army's navy is seen during a military display in the South China Sea, April 12, 2018. VOA

China’s two decades of military modernization has paid off big in missile development and domains like cyber and space, but the Pentagon says China is still relying on spying on others to steal the latest military technology.

“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 … computer intrusions and other illicit approaches,” according to a congressionally mandated Pentagon report released Thursday.

Randall Schriver, the assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told reporters Friday at the Pentagon that China frequently uses tactics that fall just short of armed conflict to reach its goal of becoming a “world-class military by 2049,” from threats and coercion against media and academia to jamming systems against ships in international waters in the South China Sea.

military technology
FILE – The Chinese navy’s guided missile destroyer Guiyang takes part in a naval parade off the eastern port city of Qingdao, April 23, 2019. VOA

The report said China has used these illicit approaches to acquire military-grade technologies from the United States that ranged from antisubmarine to aviation equipment.

He said the Chinese were “very aggressive” with modernization and had made “significant progress” in their ballistic and cruise missile development, but he stopped short of calling Beijing an adversary.  “We certainly don’t see conflict with China, and it doesn’t preclude cooperation where interests align,” Schriver told reporters.

Arctic

The report also shows increased Chinese activities in the Arctic region.  Arctic states have expressed concerns that Beijing could use its presence there to strengthen China’s military reach, mirroring worries about Chinese military presence in Africa and Latin America following its Belt and Road economic initiative.

“Civilian research could support a strengthened Chinese military presence in the Arctic Ocean, which could include deploying submarines to the region as a deterrent against nuclear attacks,” the report notes.

military technology
FILE – The Chinese navy’s 055-class guided missile destroyer Nanchang takes part in a naval parade off the eastern port city of Qingdao, April 23, 2019. VOA

The Pentagon report noted that European allies like Denmark have expressed concern about Chinese proposals to establish a research station and a satellite ground station in Greenland.

Concentration camps

Schriver also noted the U.S. military’s concern that the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Military Commission has taken sole authority of the People’s Armed Police, China’s primary force for internal security.

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He accused China of imprisoning close to 3 million Chinese Muslims in “concentration camps” that “erode the rules-based order.” He later defended his description, which harks back to the Jewish concentration camps in Nazi Germany, as appropriate, given the magnitude of the Chinese detentions and the goals of the camps based on public comments from the Chinese government. (VOA)

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U.S. Pentagon Emits More Greenhouse Gases Than Portugal, Study Finds

The Pentagon, which oversees the U.S. military, released about 59 million metric tons of carbon dioxide

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U.S., Pentagon, Greenhouse Gases
FILE - The Pentagon building is seen in Washington. VOA

The United States creates more planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions through its defense operations alone than industrialized countries such as Sweden and Portugal, researchers said Wednesday.

The Pentagon, which oversees the U.S. military, released about 59 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in 2017, according to the first study to compile such comprehensive data, published by Brown University.

The Pentagon’s emissions were “in any one year … greater than many smaller countries’ greenhouse gas emissions,” the study said.

If it were a country, its emissions would make it the world’s 55th-largest contributor, said Neta Crawford, the study’s author and a political scientist at Boston University.

U.S., Pentagon, Greenhouse Gases
FILE – Air pollution hangs over the skyline as the sun rises over Beijing’s central business district, Jan. 14, 2013. VOA

“There is a lot of room here to reduce emissions,” Crawford said.

Request for comments to the Pentagon went unanswered.

Troop movements

Using and moving troops and weapons accounted for about 70% of its energy consumption, mostly due to the burning of jet and diesel fuel, Crawford said.

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It dwarfed yearly emissions by Sweden, which the international research project Global Carbon Atlas ranks 65th worldwide for its of CO2 emissions.

Pentagon emissions were higher than those of Portugal, ranked 57th by the Global Carbon Atlas, said Crawford.

China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the main gas responsible for climate change, followed by the United States.

The Pentagon called climate change “a national security issue” in a January report to Congress and has launched multiple initiatives to prepare for its impact.

U.S., Pentagon, Greenhouse Gases
The United States creates more planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. Pixabay

Global temperatures are on course for an increase of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius (5.4-9.0 degrees Fahrenheit) this century, far overshooting a global target of limiting the increase to 2 C or less, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization said in November.

Four degrees Celsius of warming would increase more than five times the influence of climate on conflict, according to a study published in Nature magazine on Wednesday.

Improvements

Crawford said the Pentagon had reduced its fuel consumption significantly since 2009, including by making its vehicles more efficient and moving to cleaner sources of energy at bases.

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It could reduce them further by cutting fuel-heavy missions to the Persian Gulf to protect access to oil, which were no longer a top priority as renewable energy gained ground, she said.

“Many missions could actually be rethought, and it would make the world safer,” she said. (VOA)