House Republicans are expressing concern over a potential channel for malicious intervention by Beijing in the United States through cranes, as the Biden administration overlooks the increasing dangers posed by China. According to an exclusive report in The Wall Street Journal, ZPMC, a China-based company, produces approximately 80 percent of the ship-to-shore cranes utilized in American ports. This has resulted in growing unease among American defense and national security personnel, who have likened the cranes to a “Trojan horse.”
According to reports, ZPMC cranes produced by the Chinese company are reasonably priced and competently constructed in comparison to other cranes manufactured by different companies. However, they incorporate advanced sensors that can detect and monitor the source and target of containers, leading to worries that China may acquire data on material being transported to and from the United States to back up U.S. military activities worldwide. ZPMC is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Co., which is a prominent contractor for China’s Belt and Road initiative, aimed at developing infrastructure and trade connections across Asia, Africa, and beyond, under Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s leadership.
The Wall Street Journal report cited the former cybersecurity head at the port of Houston, who cautioned that it would be relatively easy for an attacker to immobilize a crane by deactivating one sensor because the systems were not created with security in mind, but rather for functionality. This is just one of several issues raised in the report, as some are concerned that ZPMC cranes could be used as destructive tools to incapacitate American ports, without a rival needing to send its navy into U.S. waters.
It is evident that President Biden has not taken any measures against these plausible dangers posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As Biden neglects these threats, it is incumbent upon House Republicans to oversee and prompt action from the White House. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), a former Marine counterintelligence officer, and his Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party are spearheading this initiative.
The fact that ZPMC, a Chinese firm with links to Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, produces 80 percent of our active ship-to-shore cranes is alarming. The Biden administration must intervene to guarantee that these cranes are not exploited by the CCP for espionage or sabotage. Americans are entitled to the assurance that their ports are secure and that their military supply chains are not susceptible to Chinese intervention. President Biden must take a stand against China and shield our country from these dangers.