Despite Chinese officials vehemently denying the mass systematic stealing of intellectual property, the most senior U.S.
counterintelligence official said the ongoing heist sets the country back some half a trillion dollars a year as Washington and Beijing compete for technical and military supremacy in the 21st century.
"The theft of intellectual property by the People's Republic of China costs America as much as $500 billion a year," William Evanina, Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, told Newsweek.
"The Chinese Communist Party is the reason for the increase in counterintelligence cases with a nexus to China," the FBI said in a statement sent to Newsweek.
intellectual property and sensitive information for the benefit of its military and economy.".
The methods were said to be mostly cyber, but "China also relies on techniques such as intellectual property theft, legitimate purchases of U.S.
"The FBI has been sounding the alarm about China for years, and we have been heavily engaged with the private sector and academia on the counterintelligence threat from China.".
Instead, he said, "It's the private sector, companies like CrowdStrike that are putting technology into companies that are detecting these attacks, and preventing malware from being executed and disrupting adversary attacks.".
Robert Cattanach, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney, who previously worked as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice and special counsel to the Secretary of the Navy, said the release "offers a telling peek into the ongoing cyber battle between the quasi-state hackers from China and the U.S.
"The PRC pursues its military modernization ambitions through a national strategy it calls 'Military-Civil Fusion,'" a senior Trump administration official told Newsweek.
The absence of a free and independent private sector in China makes this strategy possible.
"Private sector civilian Chinese entities are incentivized and co-opted to support Xi Jinping's 'Strong Military Dream,'" the official said, "and do not have the option of refusing when so directed by CCP authorities.".
"The PRC often advances its military development goals through industrial espionage, opaque partnerships, and manipulation of foreign academic exchanges," the official said.
"Military-Civil Fusion also complements other PRC strategies, including the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative,'" the official told Newsweek.
The Pentagon has taken this threat seriously enough to include it in the latest edition of its annual report entitled, "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China (PRC).".
"In recent years, China has continued to take effective measures, introduced a number of policies and measures to strengthen intellectual property, and intensified law enforcement and protection, which have produced remarkable results," the embassy added, citing changes to its trademark law and new national guidelines that further safeguard intellectual property
Chamber of Congress, spokesperson Scott Hall told Newsweek that "China poses a dilemma for intellectual property-intensive innovators and creators," but he qualified his statement
"From a technical standpoint, China has substantively improved its intellectual property protection over a number of years," Hall said, "and this progress has been evidenced by its fairly steady rise in the rankings of the U.S
With China's growing appreciation for the role in which intellectual property plays in stimulating innovation and creativity, Hall told Newsweek that his organization has "seen intellectual property governance and adjudication become more rigorous and predictable as the domestic demand for reliable IP rights has grown."
"Nevertheless, and what is more difficult to quantify in an empirical analysis like the Chamber's Index," Hall said, "the political risk remains that in any given case the rules may not apply—and, if so, usually in a non-transparent fashion."