Intelligence founder warns that China is exploiting Western Quantum technology scientists for military purposes. Evidence is scarce, but tensions are rising. With the development of highly secure communications, detectable radar of “secret” aircraft, and new navigation systems, quantum technology has the potential to change the face of cyber and kinetic warfare. China, the United States, and other countries spend billions on their quantum efforts. There is a concern that China will advance in the West.
A new report by US intelligence company Strider now alleges that “China is leading the quantum by exploiting Western government research funds to train Chinese quantum scientists in Western research institutions.” At the center of this strategy is the Jian-MIT Technology Review report, Beijing’s famous father, Quantum, V-Pan.
The report describes the close relationship between the Pan-working University of Science and Technology (USTC) and the University of Heidelberg in Germany and several other western schools. It also highlights some of the relationships between USTC and defense contractors financed by the Chinese government that has recently invested and developed quantum technology.
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Strider conclusion: China is effectively using European and American funds and cooperation to develop military applications for quantum technology
But scientists like Pan and Matthias Wiedem ුල ller, the head of the Department of Physics at the University of Heidelberg, are debating these accusations and warned against closing the international scientific ties they have spent to build their entire career. In a series of emails to the MIT Technology Review, PAN refused to work directly with the nation’s defense contractors in the Chinese army or quantum-based military technology.
The Strider report recognizes that there is no direct link between scientific researchers and military applications. But Washington’s growing anxiety for China’s rising technological and military talent also stands out.
Westerners worry about China’s “talent plans”
Pan’s career spans Europe and Asia, where he was appointed the head of an international team at USTC, which has made significant advances in quantum technology. Mikus is on top, a satellite capable of transmitting secure communications, and served as Pan’s chief scientist. He has received praise and attention from Chinese President Xi Jin Ping.
The Strider Report examines China’s “talent plans,” government-funded projects that use enrollment bonuses, attractive salaries, research funds, and laboratory resources to attract Chinese and international scientists. The Thousand Skills Plan (计划 计划) has been brought to China by thousands of scientists. Including Pan, he returned to his home country for many years to study and work in Europe.
“The goals and levels of coordination of academic cooperation are more doubtful and problematic as USTC’s ties to US research are growing explicitly and clearly,” says Elsa Kaniya, an assistant to the Center for New American Security. Extensive work was done explaining the quantum ambitions of China.
Strider is a new company that is funded primarily by Datatribe, a venture capital firm in the DC area known for launching a series of successful technology-based companies in the US intelligence agency. The founders are twin brothers Greg and Eric Levesque and Mike Brown, former chief technology officer of ComScore’s marketing analysis company. The Levesque twins have an intelligence analysis of the United States government and financial background.
“Academic openness and collaboration must be protected,” says Greg Levesque. But, he argues, “universities have an essential role to play in the protection of their foreign government institutions, and they intend to facilitate their researchers, discoveries and advance their national strategic interests, especially if this task can increase military capabilities. Of an opponent. ”
In a Strider report, Pan reported that in April 2018, the USC and the military contractor China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CTC), a Chinese state-owned company and Xinjiang’s best-known police application in the West.
Pan says the agreement is not with the quantum team but with the USTC electrical engineering team. However, seven months after the signing of the USTC Cooperation Agreement, CITC developed a quantum radar prototype to detect private planes, according to the Strider report. The company says the technology uses quantum oscillation phenomena to detect “invisible” objects in conventional radars. The truth is that, if it is large, it can fundamentally change the way war is fought.
Another example of the Strider report is the Mikus satellite, which means that the world’s most advanced ears can guarantee the security of transmitted data. When the project peaked, Pan helped negotiate an agreement with the China Industrial Naval Construction Corporation (CISC), a military contractor of the Chinese government, to establish laboratories for “quantum orientation, quantum communication, and quantum detection.”
Pan told MIT Technology Review that the agreement is for public use. Again, however, there is evidence to suggest otherwise. A few months after the signing of the USTC-CISC agreement, CSIC executive Fan Guping told Chinese state media that the defense contractor was cooperating with the PAN team. “Trying to capture the dominant height of quantum IT in the application field. Marine Security”
“All this is done in the name of international scientific cooperation. Chinese scientists trained in the West collaborate simultaneously with Chinese security companies to develop military applications for quantum technologies,” said the Strider report.
Despite the provocative and robust language of “consensus” and “exploitation” of Western research institutions, the report is halted on charges of direct espionage like the case of other scientists in the FBI last week in the Senate about Chinese talent programs.
In fact, on the last page of the report, there is a footnote undermining the main statements of the main story: “At this time, Strider has no information that these scientists or organizations have contributed consciously or directly to military development. The application of quantum technologies to the security companies of the PRC or the People’s Liberation Army. ”
Western scientists say about working with China.
Scientists from several countries involved in Chinese talent programs spoke with MIT Technology Review about the growing suspicion about their border work, particularly in the United States. They said that the open and transparent science they were working on would bring benefits and benefits to China in the West, and they would refuse to “commit” or consciously participate in a Chinese military strategy.
“In basic sciences, I can go to my worst competitor’s laboratory and share what I do and enjoy communication,” says Pan (who was a researcher at Heidelberg) on quantum science at the USTC.
“China is ashamed of Westerners because they have been a serious competitor for years,” says Wiedemeller. “However, as scientists, we love the competition, and if it is friendly, it leads to human knowledge.”
“Everything I do is published in scientific journals,” says Barry Sanders, a theoretical physicist at the University of Calgary. Attend a Chinese talent program and work with the USCT Quantum Team. “If someone thinks that I am compromising national security, my government will come to me and stop me. I have explained it again and again. ”
The interest in knowing China’s quantum performance has exacerbated the concerns of the West. The quantum radar advances described in the Strider report have received much attention and praise from the Chinese media in particular. Quantum scientists are more skeptical.
“The level of concern for quantum radar is absurd,” said Michael Bierkook, professor of quantum physics and quantum technology at the University of Sydney. “Quantum radar is little more than a theoretical proposal with few basic laboratories. There is not enough Evidence to prove or prove that it is secretly ineffective. ”
Baircook, CEO and founder of the quantum technology company Q-CTRL, also doubts Mysius’ achievements in the distribution of quantum keys (QKD). Unbreakable or careless,” he says. “The real benefits are surpassed by media publishers seeking to sell analysts and narratives of technical excellence who do not understand the technical foundations of the industry.”
Sanders, Wiedemuler, and others, named in the Strider report, declined to cite the news and discussed its conclusions. Wieden ූල later criticized the general practice of scientific work and the lack of understanding of the story on international scientific cooperation.
“The people who wrote the report have never been involved in science,” he said. “Scientists love to share knowledge, compete, but still learn from each other.”
Strider confirmed that none of the quantum scientists worked on the report. Its analysts come from the world of intelligence and national security, and they are two excited states with international cooperation that is fundamental to the way science works.
Can science and security coexist?
These tensions between spies and scientists are open in Washington. The Trump administration has repeatedly expressed concern about scientific cooperation with China, which has caused alarm among Chinese scientists in the United States.
American intelligence and science specialists attended Congress in November to testify about the dangers of Chinese talent planning. A report by the Senate National Security Committee last month warned of threats to US scientific and technological supremacy. The American intelligence community sees China’s advanced technical capabilities as a strategic threat.
“The Chinese government knows that economic power and scientific innovation are the keys to global influence and military power,” said John Brown, deputy director of the FBI counterintelligence agency, at a recent Senate meeting. “Beijing’s goal is to make our technology, often in the early stages of development, our specialty, erode our competitive advantage, and replace the United States as a global superpower.”
In the announcement of the Strider report that his program was part of a Chinese national strategy to exploit European and Western resources for the benefit of the Chinese army, Pan doubled his approach: exploring the fundamental issues of quantum science, such as overlapping, collision, uncertainty, and gravity.
“The field of quantum information was born out of questions about the basics of quantum mechanics,” Pan said in an email. “I don’t think Einstein would have predicted that his research would have motivated Peter Shore to invent Shore’s algorithm to take into account a large number of direct military applications (the only term related to the army, in my opinion). Google’s recent victory of quantum domination clearly shows that the United States is leading the field of quantum computing and may one day lead to military use. ”
When he talks about the tensions between national security and academic openness, the German scientist Wiedemeller of the University of Heidelberg evokes the spectrum of the Berlin Wall.
“In the case of China, what is the option?” He said. “Should we close? Do we need new walls? Even in the Cold War, trying to meet scientists was a success. After the collapse of the walls, these scientific forces once again made new connections. In East Germany, we know what happens when societies close. Of course, we run the risk of returning and using that knowledge to support the government of the PRC or the defense industry, but by coming here we can know what they think and what they do. What is the option? “