June 16, 2020

Pentagon warns China is exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to wage 'economic warfare' on the US

Featuring Martijn Rasser

Source: CNN

Journalists Nicole Gaouette, Vivian Salama, Barbara Starr

Defense officials are increasingly concerned China is using the coronavirus crisis to gain stakes in strategically important businesses as the pandemic leaves struggling companies urgently in need of capital.

But even as the Defense Department works to improve supply security, procurement experts warn that the Pentagon may not have the visibility required to vet or help protect smaller companies down the chain. They say the job is only getting harder as the pandemic has broadened the definition of national security interests to include medical supplies. And they point to at least one Chinese-owned company that asked to bid on a Pentagon contract.

"We have to be very, very careful about the focused efforts some of our adversaries have to really undergo sort of economic warfare with us, which has been going on for some time," Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters in April.

Read the full article and more on CNN.

Authors

  • Martijn Rasser

    Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Martijn Rasser is a Senior Fellow in the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Prior to joining CNAS, Mr. Rasser served as...