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A number of Chinese academics and scholars studying abroad are directly related to the (Third Technical Department of the People’s Liberation Army). Here, Chinese intelligence agencies work differently from all other spy organizations and devices around the world, through (employing academics or students and scholars in the first place, who are in the concerned country for research and study for only a short period, and then return again to their countries to supply them with advanced technologies and research), and that  Instead of spending years cultivating a limited number of high-profile sources or double agents within those communities.

  The United States of America accuses the Chinese army of developing what is known as (scientific and research network technology from academics and researchers within American and Western universities) in order to obtain technology and information from many countries, including: (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, UK, India, USA).

 In the same context, the (Indian Intelligence and Analysis Service) accused the Chinese side of using dozens of study centers for China, which it set up in the state of “Nepal” near the Indian border, in part for the purposes of spying on India.  Also, in August 2011, we findthat the (Chinese research vessel disguised as a fishing vessel) was discovered off the coast of Little Andaman, collecting data in a geographically sensitive area.

  In the state of Singapore, the Chinese researcher “Huang Jing”, a Chinese academic who was studying at (Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy) in Singapore, was expelled, because of his frank accusation of using his influence for the benefit of the Chinese intelligence services.

  A number of Chinese military universities are active abroad through their network of students and alumni, led by the (Chinese People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Sciences)

(中国人民解放军军事科学研究院)

The Academy of Military Science of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (AMS)

  The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Academy is the most important research institute in China. It is directly affiliated with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the capital, Beijing. Since June 2017, it has been headed by the Chinese military commander with the rank of Lieutenant-General (Yang Xiujun), while the General Major (Fang Xiang) is occupied by  The position of political commissar.

  The Academy of Military Medical Sciences in the capital, Beijing, is one of the most famous and most important military universities in China, known in English and Chinese, as:

The Academy of Military Medical Sciences

中国人民解放军 军事 科学院 军事 医学 研究

It is directly affiliated with the (Chinese People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Sciences), and is mainly concerned with military medical research, and was initially established in Shanghai in 1951, then its headquarters was moved to Beijing again in 1958. Here, (Nanjing University of Aeronautics) is also one of the most important Chinese military universities in the field of space, and its graduates are active abroad. Here, the “National University of Defense Technology of China” is the most important of all, which is directly affiliated with the Central Military Commission of China, known as:

NUDT

  As one of the most important Chinese military universities whose students and graduates cooperate academically and research with their counterparts in a large number of German and European universities. The relationship between the (National University of Defense Technology of China) and those close to the Chinese military departments is at the forefront of those close relations between China’s military universities and their European counterparts.  Investigating the matter, it was found that there were nearly 3,000 cases of coordination between European universities and Chinese researchers close to the Chinese military in the period between early 2000 and February 2022. The coordination focused mainly on sensitive areas, such as: (artificial intelligence, computer vision, and quantum research).

 It also designed (Nanjing Military Command College), which has a history spanning more than 71 years in the form of a Chinese garden, located near (Nanjing National High-Tech Zone). It was among the first group of Chinese military circles opened to foreigners.  It has trained nearly 4,000 mid- or senior-level foreign officers from more than 100 countries over the past years.  It opens its doors to foreign military students at Asay, who mainly study in (Chinese Military Thinking and Courses of Leadership, Management and the Art of Leadership), during their one-year stay, and it has extended and high-level relations through its military graduates mainly with many universities and research and technology institutes abroad. 

  China was keen to send many Chinese scientists to work at (Los Almos Laboratory in New Mexico, where the nuclear bomb was born, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, which plays a key role in the US nuclear weapons program these days, and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Base Patterson Air Force, Ohio).  After the return of a large number of Chinese scientists from (Los Almos Laboratory), they returned to work again in Chinese universities and research institutes, and they are called the “Los Almos Club”. The Los Alamos Laboratory is home to a wide range of advanced US defense research facilities.

  In order to find out how close the links are between European universities and Chinese military universities, a European research association, led by the (Dutch Investigative Platform)

                    Follow the Money

 Known as (Follow the Money), it compiled and evaluated a data record from more than 350,000 scientific publications, with the support of the German non-profit research center “Corective” to identify and track graduates of Chinese military universities, who are studying and enrolled for study and research in German and Western universities.

  It was also found that about 2,200 of these publications were issued by the “National University of Defense Technology”, which is a real factory for cadres in China. As for the European universities that cooperated with Chinese University researchers, almost half were from the United Kingdom, which took the lead, followed by the Netherlands and Germany.  At least 230 research papers have been written, jointly with Chinese University researchers.  Therefore, the largest role falls mainly to the “National University of Defense Technology of China”.

 Many of the best talents in the army are trained there, especially in the fields of technology and natural sciences. The focus of Chinese researchers has long been on the (Australian Strategic Policy Institute), which knows as:

ASPI

  It is the institute whose main task is to monitor the work of military universities in China, especially the work activities of the “National University of Defense Technology of China”, which plays a (critical role in all kinds of military research projects, from hypersonic projects, i.e. supersonic speed), from nuclear weapons to supercomputers. Here, American, Australian and Western intelligence reports confirm, with the possibility that behind half of the publications there is a “Chinese military officer who studied at a European university, worked and established a relationship that led to cooperation”.

 In general, this kind of research cooperation between Chinese scholars and researchers and Western universities is not officially or completely prohibited. Scientific research and collective cooperation in German universities is free, according to the Basic Law in Germany.  But in fact, almost unrestricted scientific cooperation with China was politically desirable, in order to establish a foothold in the huge Chinese market. It was not only Germany that hoped that intensive relations in the fields of business, science and culture would contribute to the democratic opening of the communist state.

  China never hides its ambition and desire, that by 2050, it wants to become the world’s leading Science and technology superpower in playing  a major role in this framework. China is pursuing a fierce military-civilian integration strategy that blurs the boundaries between civil, commercial and military research, and here every citizen has a duty to serve his country militarily, through science.

  Another thing in China’s strategy, no less important, is the transfer of technology from abroad, especially in open scientific research societies such as Germany, like the “strawberry shop, which goes in, picks up and takes what it wants”.

  A large number of studies have already been published by German researchers at the (Universities of Bonn & Stuttgart & the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany), in cooperation with Chinese researchers from the (National University of Defense Technology). Several studies have also been published in Germany with a Chinese research associate from the (National University of Defense Technology), and this researcher has won many military awards, including the “People’s Liberation Army Distinguished Doctoral Thesis Award”.

  But the complicated question here, remains: What is allowed? What research requires obtaining a license?  The Basic Law in Germany protects the freedom of scientific research. The (Federal Office for Economics and Export Control) “BAFA” in Germany decided to evaluate the situation after studying each case separately, and the decision is also made on the number of problematic cases, especially those related to Chinese students and researchers.  Here, universities must apply for “export licenses” in the case of projects where military use appears possible. This also includes scientific publications with researchers from outside the European Union.

   Here we find that, in principle, basic research is free, but applied research is not. The difference between them is that the latter is specifically directed to a specific goal.  However, the responsibility for naming the research project’s dual-use status (for civil or military purposes or both) is clear, and here the application for this rests with European universities only, as they must submit a so-called “end-use permit” to the one who authorizes the nature of the research project, which is based on (Civilian use or its extension to the necessity of applied military use of research).

 Here, the (Federal Office for Economics and Export Control in Germany) did not wish to comment on whether licenses were obtained to export the publications identified by the research group and its partners, for reasons related to the protection of personal data. When the two German universities concerned were asked, they replied in writing that the publications in question were related to “basic research” and therefore, as they put it, “these licenses are not required”. The two universities indicated that they do not have any official cooperation with (China’s National University of Defense Technology). However, it is clear that this does not rule out cooperation between them, but at the individual level, that is, at the level of Chinese researchers and scholars separately.

  The confirmation of the two universities concerned that the relationship between the Chinese co-author and the “National University of Defense Technology” was known, and that agreements, especially with foreign partners, were “carefully vetted”, with the university abiding by laws and regulations in force in Germany and confirming that it provides advisory offers and information  Written to educate teachers and students.

  Additionally, the (Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute), said it does not comment on individual works, but added that each case is examined with particular attention to the “sensitive cooperation issues relating to key technologies and in which there is a risk of an uncontrolled drain of scientific ingenuity”. But, The (National University of Defense Technology) did not respond to a request for comment.

  On the other hand, many foreign academics expressed their desire to raise the level of awareness of the potential risks among universities and supervising scholars regarding mainly Chinese scholars.  Starting in 2020, all Chinese researchers wishing to study at German universities have been submitted to a “background check” by the German Foreign Ministry when applying for a visa.

  We find that the level of private evaluations of European and German universities is “superficial at best” with regard to Chinese scholars, according to export control officials at German and Western scientific institutions, as they check applicants’ names and compare them to those on US and European sanctions lists.  But “as long as the researchers did not mention the Chinese army in their bios”, there are hardly any other controls or reservations about them.

   In general, the German and Western sides in general consider the advantages of cooperation with China above all, and consider that most of the cases of Chinese scholars and researchers they have, take the form of paying full fees from China, and China pays all fees and expenses.  With confirmation that any Chinese student in Germany is now working after graduating from German and European universities in any military and security institution in China, such as: (the Chinese army cadres factory), it is no longer possible to exchange ideas with them.  But if the Chinese researcher leaves work at the (National University of Defense Technology), he can continue his research and academic work again in German and Western universities.

  We conclude from the previous analysis of the Egyptian researcher, that the progress made by the Chinese in (the fields of missile technologies, nuclear weapons and artificial intelligence) has raised serious concern among many Western observers who believe that a radical revolution has taken place in the balance of military power on a global scale. Especially with the orders of the Chinese President, Comrade “Xi Jinping”, to fully modernize the Chinese armed forces by 2035. Until his country’s armed forces become a “globally superior” military force, so that it can fight a group and achieve victory in it, by 2049.  This is undoubtedly an ambitious goal for the Chinese side, and real and practical steps have begun on its way to achieving it through its network of students, academic scholars and researchers around the world.





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