Home / Robert Farley / Espionage!


Albanian Air Force Chengdu F-7A. By Chris Lofting – http://www.airliners.net/photo/Albania—Air/Chengdu-F-7A/1052628/L/, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19877585

Latest at the National Interest involves a look at some of the US and Russian military systems that China has stolen borrowed been inspired by:

As the People’s Republic of China (PRC) emerged from war and revolution in 1949, it became apparent that the Chinese economy lacked the capacity to compete with the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. in the production of advanced military technology.  Transfers from the Soviet Union helped remedy the gap in the 1950s, as did transfers from the United States and Europe in the 1970s and 1980s. Still,the Cultural Revolution stifled technology and scientific research, leaving the Chinese even farther behind.

Thus, China has long supplemented legitimate transfers and domestic innovation with industrial espionage.  In short, the PRC has a well-established habit of pilfering weapons technology from Russia and the United States.  As the years have gone by, Beijing’s spies have become ever more skillful and flexible in their approach. Here are five systems that the Chinese have stolen or copied, in whole or in part:

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  • rea

    It is odd how many weapons-related things seem to come in sets of five.

  • Matt

    I don’t read any numbered list of things on the internet unless I’m assured that at least one of them will shock me and/or leave me speechless.

    • N__B

      “Lose weight! After death! Exciting new diet!”

    • The Temporary Name

      The Book of Lists anticipated Buzzfeed and I loved it. You can’t keep me from clicking!

      • Jean-Michel

        Oh man, The Book of Lists…I found a dog-eared paperback at my grandmother’s house and she let me keep it, perhaps forgetting its obvious age-inappropriateness (the chapter on sex, with its inventory of the basic positions and various scurrilous anecdotes about celebrities and historical figures, was a real eye-opener). Many years later I bought a hardback copy at a secondhand store because I’d read the paperback so much the binding wore out and the book had split in two. Oddly enough, I never bothered to read the sequels, though I did eventually pick up The People’s Almanac somewhere.

  • Robert Farley
  • joejoejoe

    Albania, Albania!
    You border on the Adriatic.
    Your land is mostly mountainous,
    and your chief export is chrome.

  • Gwen

    The comments are not quite as amazing as I was expecting. Seems like even the Chinese/Russian Internet trolls are just phoning it in these days.

    (Unless they’re over on Twitter furiously trying to get Trump elected).

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