American Enterprise Institute
The U.S.-China trade war is making headlines, but the most important aspect of the long-term economic competition with China isn’t soybeans or natural gas, it’s technology. The dual flashpoints of economic espionage and backdoor surveillance could precipitate the great uncoupling of the world’s two largest economies.
Although American politicians have just started to pay attention, China has been engaged in a decades long, systematic, state-sponsored effort to steal U.S. technology. Beijing has relied heavily on stolen trade secrets and intellectual property to build its own indigenous manufacturing and technology base. Recent U.S. intelligence community estimates suggest that China employs 30,000 military cyber spies and 150,000 private sector cyber experts whose job is to steal foreign secrets and technology.
Zack Cooper, Eric Lorber , June 13, 2019
As China has caught and even overtaken the competition in critical technologies, the United States and other countries have taken notice. In 2015, the Obama administration put pressure on Beijing to end rampant Chinese theft of American intellectual property. But after a brief hiatus, Chinese hackers went back to work, although they were more careful to cover their tracks.