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Tipsheet

White House Downplays Chinese Spying With New Tool

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Over the weekend the Wall Street Journal reported the Chinese communist government could be using cranes at U.S. ports to spy on Americans and shipping vessels. 

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"U.S. officials are growing concerned that giant Chinese-made cranes operating at American ports across the country, including at several used by the military, could give Beijing a possible spying tool hiding in plain sight," the WSJ report states. "Some national-security and Pentagon officials have compared ship-to-shore cranes made by the China-based manufacturer, ZPMC, to a Trojan horse. While comparably well-made and inexpensive, they contain sophisticated sensors that can register and track the provenance and destination of containers, prompting concerns that China could capture information about materiel being shipped in or out of the country to support U.S. military operations around the world."

When asked about the tactics on Monday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre downplayed spying concerns. 

"I don't have any comment on that specific reporting. I would refer you to the Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense who have been tasked with Congress to study this particular issue," she said. "The National Security Council, in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense, Coast Guard, and members of the intelligence committee, have been actively working to address potential cyber vulnerabilities across the marine transportation system."

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"This is something that the President takes very seriously.  And we’ll always take action to make sure we protect our national security," she continued. 

According to the White House President Biden has no scheduled calls with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss the country's ongoing antics. 

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