China: September 10, 1999

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A US government report asserts that in 15 years China will have ICBMs able to hit most of the United States, thanks largely to technical assistance given by, or stolen from, America. Using techniques successfully pioneered by the Soviet Union, China takes advantage of the open nature of US society and picks up a lot of useful technical information from open sources, or from non-US companies who have better access to cutting edge American technology (and are willing to sell or trade it to China, Israel, Germany and Japan have been the major offenders here.) But China has another advantage the USSR never had. Thousands of Chinese born scientists and engineers have been educated in American in the last few decades and these experts are easy to talk to for Chinese intelligence agents. The Chinese do not have to lean on these specialists, in most cases they simply glean a few technical tidbits over drinks and friendly banter (in Chinese.) This low key information gathering is as important, if not more so, than the information obtained from the few Chinese-American scientists who deliberately turn over large quantities of secret data.

 


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