US And Chinese Flags

Tennessee Sen. Blackburn, Michigan Sen. Peters Push Efforts To Curb China’s Intellectual Property Theft

US And Chinese Flags
US And Chinese Flags. Photo Source: Liu Pengyu, Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the U.S.

In a move to protect the United States’ economic and national security interests, Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) have introduced the Countering Chinese Espionage Reporting Act.

This legislation aims to shed light on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) efforts to counter the growing threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) relentless pursuit of American intellectual property (IP) and technological expertise.

The scale and sophistication of China’s intellectual property theft are truly staggering. According to the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, the CCP’s illicit activities have cost the United States an estimated $225 billion to $600 billion every year.

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This massive drain on America’s economic resources has far-reaching implications, undermining the country’s competitiveness and jeopardizing its technological leadership on the global stage.

The senators’ concerns are well-founded. Last year, it was reported that the CCP has been operating seven secret surveillance centers in some of America’s largest cities, raising serious questions about China’s espionage efforts within US borders.

Additionally, the arrest of two individuals connected to an illegal overseas Chinese police station has further highlighted the CCP’s audacious attempts to exert its influence and gather sensitive information on American soil.

“This infiltration of our country must not be allowed to continue, and the Countering Chinese Espionage Reporting Act would ensure that the Department of Justice is doing everything in its power to safeguard our national security,” said Blackburn.

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“It’s absolutely critical to both our national security and economic competitiveness that we protect U.S. intellectual property – like academic research and technological innovation – from being stolen and used by our adversaries,” said Senator Peters, Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The proposed legislation, if enacted, would require the Attorney General, in coordination with other relevant government agencies, to prepare an annual report detailing the DOJ’s efforts to counter the CCP’s national security threats and espionage activities within the United States.

This report would cover a wide range of critical areas, including the theft of American IP and research, threats from non-traditional collectors, and an accounting of the resources dedicated to combating the CCP’s nefarious schemes.

By mandating this comprehensive reporting, the Countering Chinese Espionage Reporting Act would provide much-needed transparency and accountability. Policymakers and the public would gain a clearer understanding of the DOJ’s strategies and the resources being deployed to safeguard the nation’s intellectual property and technological advancements.

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This enhanced oversight would empower lawmakers to make informed decisions and ensure the government is taking the necessary steps to protect America’s interests.

The senators’ concerns extend beyond the theft of intellectual property. They have also expressed alarm over the CCP’s apparent infiltration of American institutions, including the recent incident involving a Chinese spy balloon traversing US airspace for several days. This brazen act of provocation underscores the need for a comprehensive and coordinated response to counter the CCP’s multifaceted threats to national security.

In their efforts to combat the CCP’s intellectual property theft and espionage activities, Senators Blackburn and Peters have recognized the importance of international cooperation.

Last year, the intelligence chiefs of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada came together to issue a joint warning about China’s sustained and sophisticated theft of IP and expertise. This collaborative approach is crucial in addressing a challenge that transcends national borders.

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The senators have also emphasized the need to safeguard America’s academic and research institutions from the CCP’s predatory practices. These centers of innovation and discovery are prime targets for non-traditional collectors, who seek to exploit the open and collaborative nature of academic settings to siphon off valuable intellectual property and technological advancements. The Countering Chinese Espionage Reporting Act aims to address this vulnerability and ensure the DOJ is taking proactive measures to protect these critical assets.

In addition to academic institutions, the senators have highlighted the importance of shielding the defense industrial base from the CCP’s espionage efforts. These facilities, which are essential for developing and maintaining the nation’s military capabilities, have long been a target of Chinese intelligence operations. The Countering Chinese Espionage Reporting Act would require the DOJ to provide a comprehensive account of its efforts to secure these sensitive facilities and the intellectual property they harbor.

The introduction of the Countering Chinese Espionage Reporting Act has garnered bipartisan support, with Congressman Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wis.) introducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives. This cross-aisle collaboration underscores the urgency and importance of the issue, transcending political divides in the pursuit of safeguarding American interests.

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