The Chinese government has established an unparalleled spying capacity in Africa by encouraging Chinese companies such as Huawei to construct government buildings across the continent, according to a recent report.
The report, published by the conservative Heritage Foundation, found that Chinese firms—many of which are state-owned or linked to the government—have built or renovated 186 government buildings in Africa. Many were constructed in the last two decades. Senior Policy Analyst Joshua Meservey, the report’s author, said the buildings are “a likely vector for Chinese spying,” given the Chinese government’s history of using such buildings to spy on its inhabitants.
“Beijing may have better surveillance access to Africa than anywhere else in the world,” the report reads. “The Chinese government could use the information it harvests to advantage its companies competing against American and other firms, glean insights into U.S. security assistance and counterterrorism programs, and recruit or influence senior African government officials.”
The report comes at a time of heightened U.S. interest in China’s activities in Africa, where the communist regime has undertaken hundreds of infrastructure projects in a bid for influence. The U.S.-China Economy and Security Review Commission—a bipartisan body sanctioned by Congress to research China-related issues—held a full-day hearing earlier this month to evaluate China’s strategic aims in Africa. – READ MORE
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