Department of Defense Analyzes China’s Military and Cyber Capabilities

America’s Department of Defense has released its annual report on China’s military capabilities. The report states that an essential element of China’s defense planning includes electronic warfare and information dominance. The report states that China’s defense industry has benefited from integration with its expanding civilian economy and science and technology sectors, particularly sectors with access to foreign technology. Examples of foreign technologies that China seeks to (and has) acquired include: advanced aviation and aerospace (hot section technologies, avionics and flight controls), source code, traveling wave tubes, night vision devices, monolithic microwave integrated circuits, and information and cyber technologies.

How will China gain these technologies?  The report goes on to state that “the PLA continues to decrease its reliance on foreign weapons acquisitions in more capability areas as China’s defense-industrial and research bases mature. However, the PLA still looks to foreign assistance to fill some critical near-term capability gaps. China continues to leverage foreign investments, commercial joint ventures, academic exchanges, the experience of repatriated Chinese students and researchers, and state-sponsored industrial and technical espionage to increase the level of technologies and expertise available to support military research, development, and acquisition.”

In other words, China has plans to continue its recent dominance as a major espionage factory.  American companies that are invested in technology should take immediate steps to protect their critical information technology by implementing robust cyber security protocols, conducting vulnerability assessments on key areas for information loss, and consider screening to protect themselves from the trusted insider.

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