China’s massive R&D investment seen giving it devastating tech edge over U.S.

FPI / September 19, 2019

China is pouring mountains of cash into research & development in an effort to gain a decisive military advantage over the United States, according to a new book by a top U.S. security correspondent.

In his book, Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China’s Drive for Global Supremacy, Bill Gertz details what is perhaps the most striking and strategically important Chinese invention — quantum communications:

China in 2016 launched the world’s first quantum communications satellite. / Xinhua

“A major worry for American defense planners and intelligence strategists is China’s drive to deploy extremely secure quantum communications. This development was announced by China in August 2016 . . . Quantum communications for the Chinese are designed to produce encryption that is unbreakable — a capability that would hamper what has been a strategic advantage for the United States in relying on the very capable code breakers at the US National Security Agency.”

Quantum communications, a Chinese innovation, inaugurates a revolution in signals intelligence, Gertz notes.

He also details the Trump administration’s campaign to dissuade its allies from buying fifth-generation (5G) mobile broadband technology from Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies.

“By the time the book went to press, it was evident that the initiative was a humiliating failure; not a single country on the Eurasian continent bent to American threats, which included the suspension of intelligence-sharing. Quantum communications help explain why,” David Goldman wrote in an analysis of the book for Law & Liberty.

The consequences, he suggested are more dire than the book says, Goldman said.

Not only the Chinese, but South Korean, Japanese, British and other teams are building the capability to embed quantum communications in the new 5G networks. Not only will China go dark to U.S. signals intelligence; the rest of the world will, too, and in short order.

Huawei’s 5G systems will wipe out America’s longstanding advantage in electronic eavesdropping. The U.S. intelligence community spends $80 billion a year, mostly on SIGINT, and the whole investment is at risk.

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