China is stealing technologies to become a "world-class" military power, says the report (Image: GETTY)
And experts also warn of the possibility of conflict in the South China Sea region, stressing China has never ruled out the use of military force to reclaim Taiwan. The report, entitled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2019, was published yesterday. It suggests Beijing is attempting to fast-track its development by stealing foreign military technologies in order to avoid the lengthy development phases associated with the development of complex weapons systems.
China uses a variety of methods to acquire foreign military and dual-use technologies, including targeted foreign direct investment, cyber theft, and exploitation of private Chinese nationals’ access to these technologies
China’s military modernisation is also aimed at developing technologies capable of regarding “core US operational and technological advantages”, the document suggests.
It adds: “China uses a variety of methods to acquire foreign military and dual-use technologies, including targeted foreign direct investment, cyber theft, and exploitation of private Chinese nationals’ access to these technologies, as well as harnessing its intelligence services, computer intrusions, and other illicit approaches.
“In 2018, Chinese efforts to acquire sensitive, dual-use, or military-grade equipment from the United States included dynamic random access memory, aviation technologies, and antisubmarine warfare technologies.”
China’s military ambitions in the South China Sea have been well-documented in recent months, as has its fortification of islands in the region.
China is using espionage techniques to take short cuts for weapon development (Image: GETTY)
Speaking on Wednesday, US General Charles Brown, head of Pacific Air Forces, warned