Congress’ Narrow Inquiry into U.S. Investment in China is not a Winning Strategy

Writing in The Washington Times this week, Roslyn Layton examined the current inconsistencies in the United States’ regulatory approach towards curbing investment in Chinese military proxies. As we covered recently, President Biden issued an executive order that would require “U.S. firms to notify the federal government if they invest in some lower-end semiconductor production not already covered by export controls.”  In Congress, the U.S. House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party sent letters to financial firms BlackRock and MSCI this month, notifying their CEO’s that the Committee was investing the companies’ investments into certain Chinese companies. The letter states “Americans are now unwittingly funding PRC companies” that develop technologies for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Layton notes that this… Read More

Useless Export Controls Fail to Stop China from Acquiring Sensitive Emerging Technologies

By Steve Coonen “If you want it, here it is, come and get it,” sang the British band Badfinger in their 1969 song “Come and Get It.” That tune, written by Paul McCartney, might as well be the theme song for the U.S. Government’s inability to protect emerging or foundational technologies, including semiconductor technologies, from the Chinese military. Emerging and foundational technologies assist in providing the underlying knowledge and capabilities required for Chairman Xi and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to dominate and control key technological economic sectors and further modernize their military. Indeed, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute stated that China has a “stunning lead” in research into 37 out of 44 critical technologies, including those with clear military… Read More

Spy Balloon’s U.S. Components Point to the Need for Tougher Export Controls

By Steve Coonen, CTT Special Advisor China’s brazen violation of U.S. airspace to collect intelligence via a spy balloon has justifiably served as a clarion call for the American people to more closely scrutinize the threat to U.S. national security from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Now that the balloon is confirmed to have used commercially available American technologies, it’s clear that a China-focused national security strategy should begin with stopping American tech from supporting China’s military modernization efforts. The news that the spy balloon had U.S. parts in it underscores the fact that the Chinese government has no qualms weaponizing American technology against the U.S. As Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Sen.… Read More

CTT Joins National Security Leaders In Calling for Outbound Investment Review To Prevent US Capital From Bolstering CCP

China Tech Threat’s Major General James “Spider” Marks joined the Coalition for a Prosperous America and members of the American foreign policy and national security communities in a letter to President Biden supporting an outbound investment review mechanism to protect U.S. capital from the bolstering the CCP. In the May 17 letter, the signatories wrote: “We write to you today as members of the American foreign policy and national security community to indicate our support for the establishment of an outbound investment review mechanism. While Congress continues to review legislation intended to address this matter, we respectfully request that expeditious action be taken by the administration in the near-term to address the risks and threats associated with U.S. capital bolstering… Read More

“I felt like I was watching a car crash in slow motion”: Former DOD Official Exposes Broken U.S. Export Control System Strengthening the Chinese Military

For more than two decades, Steve Coonen served as a U.S. Army artillery officer and foreign affairs officer. After his active duty service, he helped lead the Pentagon’s unit charged with keeping sensitive American technologies away from our adversaries. As the Defense Technology Security Administration’s Senior Foreign Affairs Advisor for China, Steve won top performance awards, including the Award for Excellence from the Office of the Secretary of Defense in July 2020. Then, in November 2021, he resigned from his post. At the core of his decision to step away was principle: the U.S. government’s export control regime is marked by ineffectiveness and a willful blindness to how China is legally capturing controlled American technologies. Under the Chinese Communist Party’s… Read More

UPDATE: New Arkansas Law Prohibiting Contracts with China Is Progress, But Loopholes Need Closed

[Updated] On April 12, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed into law  HB 1789, a bill to prohibit contracts with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Introduced by Representative Mindy McAlindon and State Senator Gary Stubblefield, the bill demonstrates a commitment by Arkansas leaders to protect sensitive data from PRC intrusion and advances a growing trend of new state laws in 2023 (joining Idaho and South Dakota). However, one significant loophole presented during the legislative process renders the new law powerless and must be corrected when the state legislature reconvenes in 2024. When introducing the bill, Rep. Mindy McAlindon said “HB1789 is designed to protect Arkansas and Arkansans from the undue influence of the Communist Party of China. Arkansas has… Read More

South Dakota Bill To Prohibit Dangerous China Tech Signed Into Law

On March 22, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed into law SB 189 that prohibits purchasing agencies from contracting with companies owned or controlled by certain foreign entities or governments, including China. The bill received broad support, receiving only 2 votes against it in the Senate.  At the bill signing ceremony, the bill’s original sponsor Senator Jim Stalzer cited China Tech Threat’s research that found that between 2016 and 2022, the state of South Dakota spent $29,808 on Chinese technology from Lexmark and Lenovo that is restricted or banned by the federal government. The research also revealed the technology is used by government agencies that hold sensitive information, including the National Guard Armory and the Division of Criminal Investigation. The… Read More

Maine Debates Bill To Stop Hemorrhaging Sensitive Info To CCP

The more than $5 million the State of Maine has already spent on dangerous Chinese technology from Lenovo was a concern raised throughout a Maine committee hearing on legislation to prohibit state contracts with companies owned or operated by the Chinese government. Maine leaders should move the bill quickly through the work session that will be held in the next few weeks and pass the bill. In doing so, it will join Vermont, which was the first state to take action to prohibit restricted equipment back in 2019, and the nearly dozen other states considering bills. Underscoring her point that the Lenovo technology is likely being used throughout state, the sponsor of LD877, An Act to Prohibit State Contracts with… Read More

Two New Reports Underscore Chinese Communist Party’s Drive for Global Tech Supremacy

Both the U.S. government and independent academic researchers are telling the world what it needs to hear – China’s drive for dominance in the tech sector is a grave threat to American national security and free people everywhere. Let’s start with the newly released Director of National Intelligence’s Annual Threat Assessment (ATA) – a yearly declassified summary of the intelligence community’s findings on America’s adversaries. As page 6 of the report states: China will remain the top threat to U.S. technological competitiveness as Beijing targets key sectors and proprietary commercial and military technology from U.S. and allied companies and institutions. Beijing uses a variety of tools, from public investment to espionage to advance its technological capabilities. Beijing’s willingness to use… Read More

Heritage Foundation Report Exposes the CCP’s Self-Dealing and Authoritarian Push at the International Telecommunications Union  

The International Telecommunications Union isn’t well-known, but it’s one of the most important multilateral bodies in the world. The ITU is the forum in which nations come together to set technological standards which govern the global telecommunications ecosystem – including the internet. Rules set at the ITU are what allow digital technologies to function across borders on everything from cell phone signals to satellites. But just as it has done at another UN agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is using its leadership at the ITU to advance its own agenda – not constructively engage with all technological stakeholders to produce rules designed to serve all nations well. As a report released this week by… Read More