Republican lawmakers urge U.S. to scrap China science deal

republican-lawmakers-urge-us.-to-scrap-china-science-deal
Republican lawmakers urge U.S. to scrap China science deal

Republican lawmakers have called on the US State Department not to renew the Science and Technology Agreement (STA) with China, citing concerns that Beijing would use it to advance its military capabilities. The agreement, which has been renewed every five years since 1979, has facilitated cooperation in areas such as atmospheric and agricultural science, as well as basic research in physics and chemistry. However, concerns about China’s military ambitions and theft of US scientific and commercial achievements have prompted questions about the agreement’s continuation.

In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the chair of the US House of Representative’s select committee on China, Mike Gallagher, and nine other Republican representatives argued that the deal should be scrapped. The letter cited concerns about joint work between the US and China’s Meteorological Administration on “instrumented balloons”, as well as more than a dozen US Department of Agriculture projects with Chinese entities that it said include technologies with “clear dual-use applications,” including techniques to analyze satellite and drone imagery for irrigation management.

The lawmakers wrote that “The PRC (People’s Republic of China) uses academic researchers, industrial espionage, forced technology transfers, and other tactics to gain an edge in critical technologies, which in turn fuels the People’s Liberation Army modernization.” They added that “The United States must stop fueling its own destruction. Letting the STA expire is a good first step.”

China has sought to achieve self-reliance in agricultural technology, including in seed development, and US authorities have increased efforts to counter what they say is industrial espionage by Chinese individuals in the sector. China’s officials hope to extend the deal and have said publicly that they approached the US last year to discuss renewal, but that Washington has been conducting a review of the agreement. The State Department declined to comment on “internal deliberations on negotiations.”

Proponents of renewing the deal argue that without it, the US would lose valuable insight into China’s technical advances. However, many analysts say the agreement must be fundamentally reworked to safeguard US innovation in a time of heightened strategic competition with China.

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Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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