On Tuesday, October 17,2023, the intelligence chiefs of the Five Eyes Alliance came together to issue a rare joint statement in order to accuse China of intellectual property theft and of using artificial intelligence (A.I.) for the purpose of spying and hacking against the nations.
The statement by the Five Eyes’ officials :
The Five Eyes is an intelligence sharing network, which consists of the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Reportedly, the officials from the Five Eyes – the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand – held meetings with private enterprises and companies in Silicon Valley, the US innovation hub, after which they made the comments in regards to China using A.I. to hack and spy against the countries.
Christopher Wray, the United States’ Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI ) , stated that the “unprecedented” joint call among the Five Eyes allies was meant to and done in order to confront the “unprecedented threat” that China reportedly poses to innovation and tech across the planet.
The officials stated that China was stealing secrets from various sectors, including but not limited to robotics, biotechnology, quantum technology and artificial intelligence.
Wray further stated that China has been targeting businesses since long with a web of techniques all at once : human intelligence operations, cyber intrusions, even with “seemingly innocuous corporate investments and transactions”. He also added that every strand of that web had become even more dangerous and brazen.
Mike Burgess, the director – general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, stated that the Chinese government is involved and engaged in the most “ sustained, scaled and sophisticated” theft of intellectual expertise and property in “human history”.
Burgess further added that although China’s intention to innovate for the purpose of its own national interest was “fine and entirely appropriate”, but the “behaviour we’re talking about here goes well beyond traditional espionage”.
China’s response :
Responding to the statement by the Five Eyes officials, Liu Pengyu, who is the official spokesman of the Chinese Government, claimed that China was committed to the protection of intellectual property.
In a statement to Reuters, the spokesperson for China’s Embassy in Washington said that “we firmly oppose the groundless allegations and smears towards China”. The spokesperson further added that the country hopes that the “relevant parties can view China’s development objectively and fairly”.
Before this, the United States has long accused China of intellectual property theft and this issue has also been a sore spot in regards to US – China relations. Additionally, this also marks it as the first time that the Five Eyes officials jointly and publicly call China out on the matter.