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China Goes Old School with Commercial Espionage

Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping
Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping / AP
• June 6, 2013 11:13 am

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While Chinese cyber espionage has been the recent focus of Chinese-American relations, last month American prosecutors charged three Chinese scientists from New York University’s School of Medicine with taking bribes to share findings with the Chinese Shenzhen Institute and a Shenzhen medical technological company, the New York Times reports.

They contend that the scale of China’s efforts to gather overseas technology is so immense that the National Counterintelligence Executive, a federal agency, has considered issuing separate annual reports each year: one for China and one for the rest of the world.

"China is in a different league altogether, exceeding the international norm not just in scale, the number and variety of transfer venues, the moral agnosticism of its practitioners, and the degree of government support," the authors, William C. Hannas, James Mulvenon and Anna B. Puglisi, said in written answers to questions. "It’s an entire mind-set."

China’s strategies range from setting up science parks for Chinese returnees to persuading foreign companies to open research centers in China, they said.

The news comes days before a summit between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping who have both pledged to address the issues of cyber security and commercial espionage.