China stealing foreign military technology in race to become world power: Report



China continues building up its military to transform from regional power to “world-class,” investing heavily in modernization and expanding its global influence, according to a new Pentagon report that was released on Thursday.

The report highlights how China is rushing towards that goal by using covert techniques to steal foreign military technologies and “leapfrogging” the development phases of complex weapons systems. China uses various means to get these technologies including the use of influence operations against individuals, businesses, media organizations, academic institutions and other communities.

As in previous years, the congressionally mandated report assesses China’s military and security developments and how those fit in with the nation’s long-term growth strategies in the Pacific region. That includes continuing to project its military power in the South China Sea — where in 2018 China placed anti-ship cruise missiles and long-range surface-to-air missiles on the contested Spratly Islands — as well as China’s focus on Taiwan, which the Chinese government considers to be a breakaway province.

But it is China’s illicit acquisition of foreign military and dual-use technologies that the report describes as having the potential “to degrade core U.S. operational and technological advantages” in the region.