Beijing has dismissed new charges as “paranoia”
FILE PHOTO © AP / Julia Nikhinson
The Pentagon sees the giant Chinese-made cranes operating at US ports, including several shipping hubs used by the military, as a potential “Trojan horse” that China could use to gather intelligence on materiel being moved in and out of the country, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Fresh from the Chinese “spy balloon” debacle, unnamed “national-security and Pentagon officials” have reportedly turned their attention to yet another alleged espionage tool. While the newspaper did not indicate whether there have been any actual cases of a crane being used for spying, it cited a former US counterintelligence official Bill Evanina expressing concerns that it could provide remote access to disrupt the flow of goods.
“Cranes can be the new Huawei,” Evanina said, referring to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies, whose products had been banned from the US market over similar spying concerns. “It’s the perfect combination of legitimate business that can also masquerade as clandestine intelligence collection.”
Officials reveal cost of shooting down ‘UFOs’ – WSJ
The crane worries come on the heels of the US-China row last month over high-altitude balloons. President Joe Biden’s administration shot down an alleged spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina after it drifted across the country. US officials accused China of using such balloons around the world as a surveillance tool.