Pentagon sources expressed concern about the large number of Chinese cranes in U.S. ports that have sensors that could serve as "spying tools".
After the incident of the downed Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina, the authorities seem to be more vigilant about the activities of the Asian country within the U.S. territory. According to national security officials the most recent concern stems from giant cranes manufactured in China and found operating in U.S. ports across the country, including several ports used by the military.
According to The Wall Street Journal these structures manufactured by ZPMC are being considered as a "Trojan horse" because they have some smart sensors that could record and track data. The company is also able to provide information on the origin and destination of the containers on the ships and to send this information both within and outside of the country.
Officials also noted that the cranes might be able to provide remote access to someone who wants to disrupt the flow of goods. Bill Evanina, a senior U.S. counterintelligence official, even compared the crane business to the Chinese cell phone company, Huawei, which is believed to have been used to spy on the American people.
"It’s the perfect combination of legitimate business that can also masquerade as clandestine intelligence collection," he said.
According to a U.S. official, ZPMC manufactures almost 80% of ship-to-shore cranes which are used in ports throughout the country, and are usually delivered fully assembled on ships and operated through a software system that is manufactured in the Asian country.
Officials say Chinese-made cranes at U.S. ports, including at several ports used by the military, could pose a security risk. Biden WH says: Don't worry, Pentagon and @SecretaryPete Buttigieg have it covered. https://t.co/sSOT4EEGMX via @WSJ
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) March 6, 2023
China accuses U.S. of being "paranoid"
After the Pentagon expressed concern about the cranes, a representative of the Chinese embassy in Washington said the United States is "driven by paranoia". However, this is not the first time the Chinese regime has accused the U.S. country of this.
China seems to be more present in the country than ever before, not only sending a spy balloon over U.S. territory but it was also recently reported that it has "police stations"unauthorized by different cities and appears to be increasingly involved with companies such as Ford Motor Co. which gives it more access to U.S. technology.
The FBI itself has stressed that the Chinese Communist Party poses a serious threat to U.S. business and industry because of the economic espionage efforts it has undertaken.