Pentagon Sees Chinese 'Spy Cranes' At US Ports As "Trojan Horse"

US officials have voiced concerns that Chinese-manufactured cranes operating at major US ports and various military bases may serve as a "Trojan horse" for Beijing's intelligence-gathering program, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

According to national security and Pentagon officials, the ship-to-shore cranes, produced by China's ZPMC, are equipped with advanced sensors capable of detecting and monitoring shipping containers, raising alarms that Beijing could gather intelligence about the materials being transported to or from the US ports or military bases. 

Pentagon Sees Chinese 'Spy Cranes' At US Ports As "Trojan Horse"

"Cranes can be the new Huawei," Bill Evanina, a former top US counterintelligence official, told WSJ. US officials have banned Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies from US communication networks on fears of spying. And he said the extent of the spying goes beyond Huawei into other forms, such as cranes. 

"It's the perfect combination of legitimate business that can also masquerade as clandestine intelligence collection," Evanina said. 

A spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy in Washington said the new panic around cranes is "paranoia-driven" and an attempt to obstruct trade and economic cooperation with China. The person added:

"Playing the 'China card' and floating the 'China threat' theory is irresponsible and will harm the interests of the US itself." 

The concerns about the alleged 'spy' cranes come after a recent dispute between the US and China regarding high-altitude balloons. In response to a recent spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina, the Biden administration deployed a stealth fighter that successfully shot down the balloon with a Sidewinder missile

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