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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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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.

ALSO READ: EU, US Authorities Break World’s Largest Online Criminal Site for Drugs, Hacking Tools and Financial Theft Wares

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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Amazon Sues Pentagon Over $10 Billion Contract

A Lawsuit has been filed against Pentagon by Amazon

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The Logo of Amazon is displayed on a screen
The logo for Amazon is displayed on a screen at the Nasdaq Market Site in New York. Amazon-owned doorbell camera company Ring is facing questions from a U.S. senator over its partnerships with police departments around the country. VOA

Amazon has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Defense Department.

The complaint, filed Friday in a federal U.S. court, challenges the Pentagon’s decision to award a $10 billion computing contract to Microsoft.

Amazon had been widely expected to receive the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud (JEDI) contract for the digital modernization of the Pentagon.

In August, however, U.S. President Donald Trump publicly questioned whether they should be awarded the contract.

Jeff Bezos, is also the owner of The Washington Post which has been critical of Trump and his administration.

Trump has called The Post part of the “fake news media.”

Amazon has previously said that politics got in the way of a fair contracting process.

Amazon logo seen in france
Amazon Logo is seen at the company logistic center in Lauwin-Planquin, France. VOA

Last week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the contract was awarded fairly and without any bias after Amazon announced its intention to challenge Microsoft receiving the contract.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he’s certain that the awarding of a $10 billion cloud-computing contract to Microsoft was done fairly.

Esper, who recused himself from the contract decision because his son had worked for one of the other unsuccessful bidders, said there was no “outside influence” on the decision makers.

ALSO READ: Microsoft Now The Most Valuable Public Company, Surpassing Apple.

Esper was asked about the controversy at a news conference Friday in Seoul, South Korea.

After the Pentagon awarded the contract to Microsoft in late October, Amazon announced its intent to challenge the decision in court. On Thursday said there was “unmistakable bias” on the government’s part. (VOA)