China Avoids US Nuclear Technology – Report Says Will Fight More Threat

Strider Technologies has published a comprehensive overview of China’s efforts to acquire US technology to advance its own interests. How the Los Alamos Club wooed leading scientists from the People’s Republic of China’s Los Alamos National Laboratory to improve its military programs takes an in-depth look at how China’s efforts have focused on nuclear secrets.

FSO mandatory reading

Most notably, from this writer’s perspective, the report should be required reading for every Facility Security Officer (FSO) and those with access to classified information within the defense or intelligence community, as it details what appears to be apparent. benevolent Chinese effort. However, in reality, China has a systematic, well-organized effort to acquire US ingenuity and know-how, which allows China to save on research and development costs and advance its research efforts ahead of competitors or potential competitors.

Since the Chinese Academy of Sciences established China’s “863 Program” (March 1986), China has had a systematic program to acquire advanced technology of interest and has used a whole-of-government approach to obtain this desired information. The programs range from completely secret sources to those officially enlisted by the Ministry of State Security or the People’s Liberation Army to provide the desired technologies (see: Targeting of General Electric by the MSS and conviction of a MSS officer for economic espionage) to creating each other. The most widely used tool with members of academia, outside of commercial agreements between individuals and Chinese enterprises with know-how.

In addition, the old perspective that China only targets members of the Chinese diaspora needs to be abandoned. Although the Strider report included 162 Chinese scientists who worked at Los Alamos and returned to the PRC to support a number of Chinese domestic research and development programs, including China’s Thousand Talents Program. China’s efforts are not limited to ethnic Chinese or Chinese nationals (see further reading below).

China targets those with access to information of interest to China. After that, China decides who the target is.

You cannot refuse. However, you should be prepared in case you have the opportunity to respond to an unsolicited approach asking you to share your knowledge with China.

Not necessarily spying

The FBI has often taken the approach that China’s efforts to acquire US technology amount to espionage. Indeed, over the years, FBI Director Christopher Wray has repeatedly cited Chinese intellectual property theft as the primary counterintelligence threat facing the United States today. However, as any counter-espionage salt will attest, proving espionage to convict is much more difficult than knowing that espionage or illegal information acquisition is taking place and debunking those efforts.

As highlighted in the report and in our previous articles, many (but not all) of the participants with the Thousand Talents Program effectively double-checked when obtaining research funding, and those who did not declare to the US funding agency (such as the Department of Energy) that they also had ties to Chinese entities, said that he often committed regulatory violations through his own mistakes.

The FBI’s wholesale approach to the “China Initiative” has led many to accuse the agency of being xenophobic, a September 2021 letter signed by 177 Stanford professors to Attorney General Garland that claims the “China Initiative has gone astray” significantly. differs: harms U.S. research and technology competitiveness and in turn increases bias that raises concerns about racial profiling.

Not just nuclear technology

Readers should be warned when reading this report that China’s talent acquisition strategy, a recurring theme in Clearance Jobs, does not only target the Department of Energy and the Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear program. Indeed, the Thousand Talents Program brings together other elements of the US government and academia, including the DOE, the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Harvard, Ohio State, Emory, Duke, Stanford, and many other institutions.

Strider’s call to action

We asked Strider co-founder and CEO Greg Levesque why Los Alamos was a focus, and he shared, “We focused on Los Alamos because it is the most important asset in America’s laboratory system and is critical to our national security. The tactics and technologies used by foreign governments to obtain information have evolved over decades, and our counterintelligence efforts must adapt accordingly. The report’s findings drive home the question, if this is happening at Los Alamos, what is happening at other labs?

As detailed in this report and Levesque’s commentary, the bottom line is that China is running away from the US on its intellectual property. Strider concludes his report: “Government-funded laboratories, research institutes, and private industry could do more to identify potential counterintelligence and IP theft risks from individuals whose talents the PRC seeks to exploit in the science and technology race. dominance. Moreover, it is an urgent national security imperative for like-minded countries to work together to protect their innovation hubs and compete with China to attract, retain and protect leading talent.”


Further reading

Further reading on the Min Talent Program and China’s intellectual property acquisition efforts:

September 2021 – Does the DOJ China Initiative Actually Identify Espionage?

January 2021 – NASA scientist pleads guilty to exposing more spying from China’s Thousand Talents Program

July 2020 – Chinese scholar of the Thousand Talents Program arrested on the run

May 2020 – China’s 1000 Talent Program Continues to Harvest US Knowledge

February 2019 – FBI director: China is using American higher education against the US

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