Friday, November 16, 2012, 11/16/2012 10:56:00 AM

China’s Economic Espionage

From Foreign Affairs, an excellent article by James A. Lewis on “China’s Economic Espionage.”


According to Lewis, China is the world’s most aggressive practitioner of economic espionage, targeting key industries such as telecom, aerospace, energy and defense. Among other victims are Google and Nortel while some companies that are victims “often conceal their losses.”


Lewis also argues that the national strategy of economic espionage actually serves to handicap China’s own development.

His final assessment:

Economic espionage lies at the heart of the larger issue of China’s integration into the international system -- the norms, practices, and obligations that states observe in their dealings with one another and with the citizens of other states. A failure to hold China accountable for espionage undermines efforts to bring Beijing into the fold. In the end, any peaceful rise requires that China play by the rules, even if it seeks to change them, rather than pretend they do not apply.

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