Research groups for China’s hypersonics and missile program are buying specialized American technology produced by firms funded by the Pentagon, according to a Washington Post investigation released Monday.
The Post found over 300 sales since 2019 of advanced software products from nearly 50 U.S. firms to research groups involved in China’s missile development program. Many of the firms that developed these products received millions of dollars in grants from the Department of Defense. The companies are finding their way around U.S. export bans by selling to private Chinese middleman distributors.
“It’s very disturbing, because the bottom line is that technology that can be used for military hypersonics was funded by U.S. taxpayers, through the U.S. government, and ended up in China,” University of Colorado Center for National Security Initiatives director Iain Boyd, who conducts experimental research on hypersonics, told the Post.
The report reveals the U.S. government’s struggle to keep American military innovations out of the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. The acquired commercial software—the results of decades of research—will save the Chinese military time and resources as it strives to outpace the United States in a race to create the most effective hypersonic weapons.