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China Controlled Shipping Platform Could Hand U.S. Military Data to CCP, Republican Lawmakers Warn

A Chinese ship pulls into Boston harbor in 2002 / Getty Images
A Chinese ship pulls into Boston harbor in 2002 / Getty Images

Republican lawmakers are sounding the alarm over a Chinese state-controlled shipping logistics platform they say could hand "sensitive U.S. government and military data" to the Chinese Communist Party.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Rep. Michelle Steel (R., Calif.) urged President Joe Biden in a Nov. 30 letter to "take action to halt the spread of LOGINK," a CCP-controlled digital platform that Beijing is offering free of charge to ports, freight carriers, and foreign nations as a "one-stop shop" for their shipment tracking and data management needs. The platform—which China's Ministry of Transport subsidizes—is already used in ports in South Korea and Japan, where the United States maintains a significant military presence. Because most U.S. military cargo is transported commercially, the CCP could use LOGINK in the Indo-Pacific and elsewhere to "collect massive amounts of sensitive business and foreign government data," including U.S. military shipping data, Cotton and Steel warned in their letter.

"The CCP could exploit their control over LOGINK to identify early trends in the movement of U.S. military supplies and equipment through commercial ports while denying other countries the same data on Chinese military assets," the lawmakers wrote. "With the data that a global LOGINK system could provide, the CCP could effectively identify vital transportation nodes necessary to control the physical movement of goods. This would be a disaster for American interests."

Cotton and Steel's letter comes roughly two months after a U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission linked LOGINK to a CCP effort to increase "global reliance on China" through "domestic infrastructure" and "transportation equipment." That effort has already seen more than 20 global ports adopt the CCP's platform, a troubling trend that "could subject U.S. military logistics to more surveillance by Chinese intelligence and military operators" and even "enable Chinese military planners to … disrupt U.S. military operations," according to the commission. As a result, Cotton and Steel are pressing the Biden administration to detail its efforts to stop LOGINK's spread, including through a potential U.S. alternative platform.

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