WASHINGTON, March 9 (UPI) -- China's military has high-tech skills that could pose a risk to the U.S. military in a conflict, a report for Congress says.
The report points to how China's decade-old military modernization has helped the country advance its capabilities in computer network attack, defense and exploitation and details potential risks to U.S. national security and economic interests.
The 130-page-plus report was prepared by Northrop Grumman Corp. and released this week by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which was created by Congress.
Chinese commercial firms, with foreign partners supplying critical technology, are enabling the Chinese People's Liberation Army to receive access to cutting-edge research and technology, the report says.
This modernization is part of the PLA's effort to develop a fully networked architecture "capable of coordinating military operations on land, in air, at sea, in space and across the electromagnetic spectrum," it says.
The Chinese military's close relationship with large Chinese telecommunications firms creates an avenue for state-sponsored or state-directed penetrations of supply chains for electronics supporting U.S. military, government, and civilian industry, the report states.
This has the potential to cause the catastrophic failure of systems and networks supporting critical infrastructure for national security or public safety, it says.
"China is likely using its maturing computer network exploitation capability to support intelligence collection against the U.S. government and industry by conducting a long term, sophisticated, computer network exploitation campaign," the report says.
Commission Chairman Dennis Shea said the report is timely because Congress is considering cybersecurity legislation.