Days ago, an extensive investigation by the Washington Post revealed how high-tech software products developed in the U.S. are falling into the hands of military research groups linked to China’s hypersonic and missile programs. In addition to the industrial espionage tactics frequently used by the Chinese regime to acquire cutting-edge technology, there is also the complicity of American companies that sell them the fruits of their research, despite the restrictions imposed by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The United States has an export blacklist to protect innovations in the military field and to prevent other nations, especially China, from developing weapons or other tools that could jeopardize national security. They avoid the rules through private Chinese companies, which then resell the material to Chinese military research groups.
Chinese military research scientists agree that U.S. technology, such as aeronautical engineering software, is key to developing and advancing the weaponry they develop.
“In this case, U.S. technology is superior—we can’t do certain things without foreign technology,” said one Chinese scientist who works at a university laboratory that conducts tests for hypersonic vehicles.
Speaking to the Atlantic Council, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) commented that Chinese weaponry, such as the hypersonic missile that circled the globe in 2021, was built using U.S. technology.
“What is probably the biggest outstanding example of this? The hypersonic missile, the weapon that we saw China launch with great precision…and it can actually carry a nuclear warhead.
“When you study it, you realize that it was actually built on the basis of U.S. technology.”
Perhaps most outrageously, the American companies providing this technology were the beneficiaries of grants and contracts from the Pentagon. In short, U.S. taxpayer money aids in developing China’s military might.
The Pentagon’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides large amounts of money to technology companies that can develop products that are valuable to the country’s interests. These are generally technologies for both civilian and military use.
According to award records, two companies, Zona and Metacomp, have received $31.6 million and $13.9 million, respectively.
Arizona-based Zona Technology and California-based Metacomp Technologies created aerodynamic simulation software sold through military supplier Hifar to the Chinese Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA). That academy played a key role in the design of the 2021 Chinese hypersonic missile tests.
BIT is one of China’s leading defense universities and one entity whose name is on the U.S. government’s export blacklist. Its studies on advanced hypersonic vehicle physics are considered key to the missile project.
In 2020, Pennsylvania firm Ansys Inc. sold computer-aided engineering software to BIT through a subsidiary of its Chinese partner, Pera Global, according to acquisition documents and company documents.
Ansys was also found to have sold its technology to other Chinese blacklisted groups using the same resale system, such as the China Air-to-Air Missile Research Institute in Luoyang, which develops high-precision, long-range missiles, and the National University of Defense Technology.
The Washington Post report identified nearly 50 U.S. companies that, since 2019, sold their technology products to Chinese military groups using intermediaries.
Gaining lost ground
The United States is particularly concerned about the development of Chinese hypersonic missiles, especially after the test that stunned the Pentagon in which the Chinese communist regime launched one of these devices around the globe and landed just 24 miles from its target. China proved to be at the forefront of its development in this field, followed by Russia and leaving the U.S. behind.
This type of missile travels 1 mile per second, making it very difficult to detect with ground-based radars or the space radar system. Only at the end of the flight is it possible to find it, so missile interception systems would not be able to destroy it before reaching its target. Conventional ballistic missiles travel on predictable trajectories, but hypersonic missiles have great maneuverability and can avoid anti-missile defenses.
The other feature that differentiates them is that they travel along the atmosphere’s edge.
The Pentagon has taken this threat very seriously and is already working on creating a network of 550 satellites to cover different altitudes and enable the intersection of hypersonic weaponry. At the same time, to make up for lost ground in this area, it requested $4.7 billion that will boost the program in the fiscal year 2023.
The weapons are part of the military’s so-called “prompt global strike” program that, when deployed, will be able to strike targets around the world in 30 minutes or less.
Meanwhile, the Chinese regime already has the DF-17 hypersonic missile and has begun work on a prototype capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
In June 2021, satellite images showed the construction of at least 119 silos to house nuclear missiles. Therefore, experts suggest that China would increase the number of warheads, totaling between 250 and 350.
The acceleration of this new arms race highlights the failures of successive American governments which, since the end of the Cold War with the USSR, have relied on their position of global military dominance and did not consider the danger of turning their backs on a communist system such as China’s, whose desire for world domination and control is engraved in the genes of its ideology.