The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) two-decade-long blitz of engagement in Africa has likely given it extensive surveillance access to the continent. Chinese companies, all of which are legally obliged to help the CCP gather intelligence, have built at least 186 government buildings in Africa and at least 14 sensitive intra-governmental telecommunication networks. Beijing has also donated computers to at least 35 African governments.
The wealth of information the CCP probably gathers in Africa presents four primary dangers for the U.S., as that information could be used to:
- Facilitate Beijing’s influence operations on the continent;
- Recruit intelligence assets at senior levels of African governments;
- Gain insight into U.S. diplomatic strategies, military counterterrorism operations, or joint military exercises; and
- Disadvantage U.S. companies competing against Chinese firms for Africa’s growing economic opportunities.
While the longer-term challenge of Beijing’s extensive influence in Africa can only be addressed by a comprehensive U.S. strategy, Washington can take a number of immediate steps to complicate Chinese surveillance access to Africa. Those steps should include working to understand the nature of Chinese surveillance and how it contributes to Beijing’s influence operations on the continent, educating U.S. companies on the risks, and training its officials on techniques to protect themselves from Beijing’s eavesdropping. Download the full report on the link below.
Credits to: The Heritage Foundation