Intelligence in Public Media

Chinese Industrial Espionage: Technology Acquisition and Military Modernization

William C. Hannas, James Mulvenon, and Anna B. Puglisi. (Routledge, 2013), 378 pp.

Reviewed by Arturo G. Munoz

Chinese Industrial Espionage: Technology Acquisition and Military Modernization provides the most thorough and insightful review to date of the covert and overt mechanisms China uses to acquire foreign technology. Delving into China’s “elaborate, comprehensive system for spotting foreign technologies, acquiring them by every means imaginable and converting them into weapons and competitive goods,” the book concludes that “there is nothing like it in the world.” (2-3) The People’s Republic of China (PRC)  is implementing  “a deliberate, state-sponsored project to circumvent the costs of research, overcome cultural disadvantages and ‘leapfrog’ to the forefront by leveraging the creativity of other nations,” thereby achieving  “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.” (78, 216)

Although PRC espionage is global in scope, the most important target is the United States. Relying primarily on Chinese-language government and non-government sources, the coauthors intend to raise awareness of the threat nationally and alert decisionmakers to the gravity of the problem. Trained as Chinese linguists, with considerable experience dealing with Chinese affairs, they are uniquely qualified for the task. William C. Hannas has a Ph.D. in Asian languages, published two books on Asian orthography and served in various US government posts, including at the Joint Special Operations Command. James Mulvenon is a leading expert on Chinese cyber issues and has published widely on China’s military affairs and communist party-army relations. Senior analyst Anna B. Puglisi studied in Beijing and subsequently was a visiting scholar at Nankai University, where she studied China’s science and technology (S&T) policies and infrastructure development.

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Posted: Feb 08, 2016 12:09 PM
Last Updated: Feb 08, 2016 12:09 PM