US officials are becoming increasingly concerned that Chinese-manufactured cranes operating at US ports across the nation, including at multiple runs by the military, could provide Beijing with a spying tool masked in plain sight.
Some Pentagon and national security officials have reportedly compared ship-to-shore cranes made by a Chinese manufacturer, the ZPMC, to a Trojan horse.
While relatively well made and inexpensive, they boast intelligent sensors that can easily register and track provenance and the destination of containers, prompting that China may be able to capture information regarding material being shipped in/out of the nation to facilitate US military operations all over the world.
The cranes can also offer remote access to someone looking toward disrupting the flow of goods, mentioned Bill Evanina, a top, former US counterintelligence official.
Cranes can be the new Huawei, Evanina explained, referring to the Chinese telecom major Huawei Technologies Co., the equipment the US officials have banned after warning that it could be used to spy on Americans. Huawei has reportedly said that its products are not a cause of national security risk.
A representative of the Chinese Embassy based in Washington referred to the US concerns regarding the cranes as a “paranoia-driven” trial to obstruct economic and trade cooperation with China.
Flashing the ‘China card’ and floating across the ‘China threat’ theory is essentially irresponsible and will harm the interests of the US itself, it mentioned.
References; Live Mint, The Wall Street Journal
Shipping News You Would Like:
Latest Shipping News You Would Like:
Get the Latest Maritime News Delivered to Your Inbox!
Our free, fast, and fun newsletter on the global maritime industry, delivered everyday.