Why China Technology-Transfer Threats Matter

Dr. Christopher Ashley Ford:

In this latter respect, for example, we review U.S. export licenses for nonproliferation concerns, we chair the four key interagency interdiction groups devoted to impeding progress in foreign threat programs and disrupting proliferation networks worldwide, and we coordinate U.S. relations with multilateral export control regimes. We also implement capacity-building programs with foreign partner states, and we undertake nonstop global counterproliferation diplomacy through which we build support for and share “best practices” in sanctions enforcement and interdiction.

As part of this effort, ISN is placing increasing emphasis upon raising awareness about, and putting up barriers to, the proliferation of sensitive technologies to the People’s Republic of China – technologies which Beijing has been using to build up its military capabilities in support of its ambitious “China Dream” of “national rejuvenation” to regain China’s position as a world leader in a range of fields, including military might. Beginning last July at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, we have been publicly drawing attention to the degree to which both licit and illicit transfers have been used to augment Chinese military power, as authorities in Beijing have – in a process known in Chinese strategic writings as “Military-Civilian Fusion” (MCF), and now personally overseen by Xi Jinping himself – systematically worked to routinize military application of know-how acquired abroad.