Congresswomen Ashley Hinson (R-IA-02) and her colleagues on the Select Committee on Competition with the Chinese Communist Party sent a letter to Secretary Antony Blinken calling on the Administration not to renew the Agreement Between the United States and the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation in Science and Technology (STA) that will expire on August 27, 2023. The lawmakers cite concern that the Chinese Communist Party has previously leveraged the STA to advance its military objectives and will continue to do so.
In part, the lawmakers wrote, “The PRC continues to practice military-civil fusion, seeking to leverage civilian and commercial research for military and defense purposes. The evidence available suggests that the PRC will continue to look for opportunities to exploit partnerships organized under the STA to advance its military objectives to the greatest extent possible and, in some cases, to attempt to undermine American sovereignty. The United States must stop fueling its own destruction. Letting the STA expire is a good first step.”
Hinson added, “We cannot keep shooting ourselves in the foot and allowing the CCP to steal our agriculture technology and other sensitive material to be used against us. Any form of so-called cooperation with the CCP is a farce, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in urging the Administration to let the current STA expire.”
The letter cites reports that the STA agreement could have developed technologies that would later be used against the United States. For example:
- NOAA organized a project with China’s Meteorological Administration to launch instrumented balloons to study the atmosphere. Just a few months ago, the PRC used similar balloon technology to surveil U.S. military sites on U.S. territory.
- Similarly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has over a dozen active research projects with PRC entities. Those projects include technologies with clear dual-use applications, such as developing techniques for analyzing satellite and drone imagery for irrigation management.
Read the letter here.