The US Department of State and Department of Defense detailed findings of Chinese espionage taking American aerospace technology. The technology stolen has been from military as well as civilian sources. The Chinese have denied these claims. It has been stated that the accusations are nothing more than a “ghost” of the Cold War.
The Department of Defense Annual Report to Congress 2011 “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China” summarized Chinese capabilities in both aerospace and cyber technology. The report highlighted an expansion in Chinese space capabilities. Chinese development goals included attempts to enhance their ability to hamper adversaries from employing space-based resources. To meet these ends the Chinese launched satellites for navigation, remote sensing, and communications. The Chinese were also continuing development of the Long March V rocket, a next-generation system for launching higher payloads.
The report, under “Cyberwarfare Capabilities”, stressed that multiple incidents of hacking during 2010 seemed to initiate from sites within China. The main concern voiced in this report was that the expertise required to conduct these “cyber intrusions” was at a level which could also carry out attacks to computer networks. It was emphasized that the structure of China’s defense industry and government’s affiliations with both “private” companies and institutes conducting research allows for the state to have access military technologies. This structure allows for R&D to be classified as civilian which clouds the attainment of sensitive technologies. Moreover, the DoD found that when commercial or academic means did not meet China’s ends of gaining particular technologies, these technologies were simply attained through illegal means.