Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. Photo: Reuters, Gary Cameron

Richard Fisher, Senior Fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, was quoted by CNBC on Wednesday, saying that China’s efforts in the area of civil-military integration will be hugely beneficial to the country’s already aggressive espionage programs. According to Fisher, China has already successfully copied major component technologies of the F-35, diminishing the aircraft’s combat advantage. While speaking at the National People’s Congress over the weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for deepening of military-civilian integration, emphasizing the need for increased science and technology support for the People’s Liberation Army, the Chinese military’s official web portal reported Sunday. One thing seems clear, the scale of China’s efforts to integrate civilian tech firms eclipses recent US efforts such as the Obama administration’s Third Offset initiative, which set up R&D hubs in Silicon Valley, Austin and Boston.

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