China denies US chopper tech espionage claim
Says US Courts handed out US$75m fine in error
The Chinese government has hit back at claims that technology used in its first fleet of attack helicopters was illegally sold to it by a US defence contractor.
In a well-publicised case in the States, United Technologies and its two subsidiaries Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) and Hamilton Sundstrand admitted earlier this month in a federal court to more than 500 violations of export restrictions, and were hit with a whopping $75 million (£47.8m) fine.
Highlighted in the case was the illegal sale of engine control software, without which it was claimed China could not have completed development of its Z-10 attack chopper.
It was claimed in the court proceedings that PWC deliberately turned a blind eye to the fact the software could be used in military aircraft, in the hope that its co-operation with China would lead to a $2bn contract for civilian helicopters.
Chinese government spokesman Yang Yujun said in response to a question at a Department of Defence press conference yesterday that the allegations are “seriously inconsistent with the facts”.
He argued that the “development of China's weapons and equipment always adhere to the principles of independence” and that “China’s armed helicopter and its engines” were built with “completely independent intellectual property rights”.
So who do we believe? A federal court and a shamed defence contractor hit with a $75m fine, or the Chinese government?
The Chinese military has been suspected for many years now of cyber espionage, but despite accusations from senior US and UK officials and the continued finger-pointing of many reports, it has been difficult to prove beyond all doubt that such attacks were directly sanctioned by government.
This case, however, would seem to present slightly more compelling evidence that China has illegally used western IP to aid its military development – not that this changes the stock government denials that are used to respond to any accusations.
Interestingly, the Chinese claims of “independent innovation” regarding military tech are slightly at odds with the government’s recent admission that it is not yet an “innovation-oriented country”. ®
How come "China has illegally used western IP to aid its military development" ?
I doubt there are any laws in China which correspond to the US's strategic export restrictions. If Pratt & Whitney broke the law in conforming to the Chinese statement of requirements then it is entirely their problem.
Why resort to espionage and hacking to steal military technology from your rivals, when you can just buy it from one of their contractors?
As Lenin once said, "The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them".
Given that the Americans have screwed up their economy so badly that most of the country is already owned by the Chinese, aren't the latter simply using what is theirs already anyway?
Just curious (and in an evil mood, evidently).