China: GCHQ chief warns superpower planning ‘global technological dominance’ with satellite system

China is a huge threat to us ALL: GCHQ chief warns superpower plans ‘global technological dominance’ with advanced satellite system – as it builds its own digital currency to insulate itself from sanctions if it decides to invade Taiwan

  • The head of GCHQ warned China’s tech plans pose a ‘huge threat to us all’
  • Sir Jeremy Fleming fears China is using key technology to spread its influence globally
  • In a speech today, he suggested that China build a satellite to track people

Britain is facing a ‘sliding door moment in history’ with Chinawhose plans for global technological dominance pose a ‘huge threat to us all’, the head of GCHQ warned today.

Sir Jeremy Fleming fears the hostile state is using key technologies to spread its influence around the world – even using surveillance from space.

In a speech today, the intelligence chief raised the prospect of China building a satellite system capable of tracking individuals around the world.

Despite Russia’s invasion of UkraineChina still poses the greater long-term threat to global security, according to Sir Jeremy.

He believes the Chinese Communist Party is learning from Russia’s “staggering” losses in Ukraine and is seeking to build a centralized digital currency to insulate itself from international sanctions if China invades Taiwan.

Sir Jeremy Fleming fears China is using key technologies to spread its influence around the world, even using surveillance from space

Sir Jeremy Fleming fears China is using key technologies to spread its influence around the world – even using surveillance from space

In RUSI’s annual security lecture, Sir Jeremy will outline how China is exporting technologies around the world to spy on other countries, gain influence and influence votes and policies in their favour.

He believes China’s BeiDou satellite navigation system, which works similar to GPS, is being developed both as a means of tracking people and as a secret weapon to disable satellites used by rival Western nations.

BeiDou, which provides navigation for aircraft, submarines, missiles and commercial services, is already embedded in Chinese exports to more than 120 countries worldwide.

He will say: ‘Many believe that China is building a strong anti-satellite capability with a doctrine to deny other nations access to space in the event of a conflict. And there are fears that the technology can be used to track individuals.’

In a speech today, the intelligence chief raised the prospect of China building a satellite system capable of tracking individuals around the world

In a speech today, the intelligence chief raised the prospect of China building a satellite system capable of tracking individuals around the world

China’s great strength combined with fear is driving force [it] to actions that can pose a huge threat to all of us’, he will say.

Referring to a pivotal point in world events, he adds: ‘At GCHQ it is our privilege and duty to see the sliding door moments of history. It feels like one of those moments. Our future strategic technological advantage rests on what we as a society do next.’

He fears China is seeking to create ‘client economies and governments’ by selling technology cheaply to other countries to leverage influence.

In the UK, the government has already ordered telecommunications equipment from Chinese tech giant Huawei to be removed from the UK’s 5G network due to national security concerns, but that won’t happen until 2027.

Today, Sir Jeremy will warn other countries that they are ‘mortgaging their future’ if they buy Chinese technology with ‘hidden costs’.

While Britain and its allies seek science and technological progress to enable prosperity, the Communist Party uses it as a ‘tool to gain advantage through control of their markets, of those in their sphere of influence and of their own citizens.

In the UK, the government has already ordered telecommunications equipment from Chinese tech giant Huawei to be removed from the UK's 5G network due to national security concerns, but that won't happen until 2027

In the UK, the government has already ordered telecommunications equipment from Chinese tech giant Huawei removed from the UK’s 5G network due to national security concerns, but that won’t happen until 2027

They see opportunities to control the Chinese people instead of looking for ways to support and unlock the potential of their citizens… But underlying that belief is a sense of fear.

‘Fear for its own citizens, for freedom of speech, free trade, open technological standards and alliances – the entire open, democratic order and the international rules-based system.’

Sir Jeremy will also deliver a scathing verdict on Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, saying: ‘Far from the inevitable Russian military victory spouted by their propaganda machine, it is clear that Ukraine’s bold action on the battlefield and in cyberspace is Turn the development around.

The [Russia] feeling the scale of the terrible human cost of his electoral war.’

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