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Friday, May 20th, 2022

Bill seeks to protect domestic technology research from being used to bolster People’s Liberation Army

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A group of legislators recently introduced legislation that would protect domestic technology research from being used by Chinese entities to benefit the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) led colleagues U.S. Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in introducing the Preventing PLA Acquisition of United States Technology Act of 2022.

Specifically, the bill would prevent federally funded domestic research from being shared or conducted jointly with Chinese entities participating in the Chinese Communist Party’s Military Civil-Fusion strategy. This national development strategy aims to mobilize non-military resources and expertise in China to increase the capabilities and lethality of the PLA. As a result, international exchange with ostensibly civilian institutions in China is now highly vulnerable to PLA appropriation.

“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is our number one threat,” Rubio said. “Beijing will lie, cheat and steal to become more powerful than the United States. All too often, our nation’s scientists and experts partner with their Chinese counterparts without understanding how their research will be weaponized by the Chinese military.”

Rubio said the measure would prevent such collaboration and protect access to federally funded research from the PLA.

“We know Communist China steals American technology and intellectual property and will stop at nothing in its quest for world domination,” Scott said. “The Preventing PLA Acquisition of United States Technology Act of 2022 will address the serious threat Communist China poses to our technology, national security, and the private information of American citizens.”

Sasse said the United States should not be in the business of funding Chinese aspirations for military supremacy.

“The CCP intentionally blurs the lines between academic research, the commercial private sector, and defense industry to build the next generation of Chinese weapons designed to challenge the United States,” he said. “We should’ve cut federal funding for US agencies, higher education, and private companies that engage in research or technical exchanges with Chinese entities involved in this strategy years ago.”