OUR PICKS: CHINA WATCHHow Beijing Influences the Influencers | Intruder Alarm | Chinese Security Scanners Across Europe, and more

Published 22 January 2022

·  Security Scanners Across Europe Tied to China Government, Military

·  Common Office Desk Phone Could Be Leaking Info to Chinese Government, Report Alleges

·  Intruder Alarm

·  How Beijing Influences the Influencers

·  America and China Are One Military Accident Away from Disaster

·  Securing Taiwan Requires Immediate Unprecedented Cyber Action

·  U.S. Moves to Drop Case Against M.I.T. Scientist Accused of Hiding China Links

Security Scanners Across Europe Tied to China Government, Military  (AP)
At some of the world’s most sensitive spots, authorities have installed security screening devices made by a single Chinese company with deep ties to China’s military and the highest levels of the ruling Communist Party.
The World Economic Forum in Davos. Europe’s largest ports. Airports from Amsterdam to Athens. NATO’s borders with Russia. All depend on equipment manufactured by Nuctech, which has quickly become the world’s leading company, by revenue, for cargo and vehicle scanners.
Nuctech has been frozen out of the U.S. for years due to national security concerns, but it has made deep inroads across Europe, installing its devices in 26 of 27 EU member states, according to public procurement, government and corporate records reviewed by The Associated Press.

Common Office Desk Phone Could Be Leaking Info to Chinese Government, Report Alleges  (Patrick Ticker, Defense One)
Phones by Yealink have been observed sending encrypted messages to Chinese servers three times a day.

Intruder Alarm  (Editorial, The Times)
The MI5 warning of a Chinese ‘agent’ engaged in political interference shows the dangerous determination of Beijing to control the affairs of other nations

How Beijing Influences the Influencers  (Paul Mozur, Raymond Zhong, Aaron Krolik, Aliza Aufrichtig and Nailah Morgan, New York Times)
Beijing is using platforms like Twitter and YouTube, which the government blocks inside China to prevent the uncontrolled spread of information, as propaganda megaphones for the wider world.
“China is the new super-abuser that has arrived in global social media,” said Eric Liu, a former content moderator for Chinese social media. “The goal is not to win, but to cause chaos and suspicion until there is no real truth.”

America and China Are One Military Accident Away from Disaster  (Economist)
Lessons from a Chinese jet’s fatal collision with a US spy plane, 21 years ago.

Securing Taiwan Requires Immediate Unprecedented Cyber Action  (Klon Kitchen and Bill Drexel, Lawfare)
The prospect of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan echoes some of the most disastrous 20th century instances of great power expansion—reminiscent, perhaps, of Nazi Germany’s Anschluss or even its subsequent invasion of Poland. Given that the latter ignited World War II, America’s strategic community has been rightly fixated on the vast military and political contingencies of a Chinese invasion that would remake Asia.
But Taiwan is not just the geopolitical fulcrum of the Indo-Pacific; it is also the nexus of a rapidly evolving Sino-American technological competition. And if 20th century great power competition is any guide, tech races are just as important to long-term competition as territorial military contests. The U.S. needs to act now to secure the technological dimensions of a looming Taiwan crisis, or risk losing far more than the island.
Contemporary Taiwan may be unique in the history of great power competition in the degree to which both geopolitical conquest and a superpower tech race are at stake. Each requires different, but interrelated, preparations on distinct timescales. Any strategy that fails to weigh the two together is not a winning one. And while no part of a Chinese invasion on Taiwan will be easy, the U.S.’s urgent technological priorities are, at least, clear—and ripe for immediate action.

U.S. Moves to Drop Case Against M.I.T. Scientist Accused of Hiding China Links  (len Barry and Katie Benner, New York Times)
Gang Chen, a professor of mechanical engineering, was arrested a year ago, accused of concealing his affiliations with Chinese government institutions.