China-Controlled Shipping Platform Could Hand US Military Data to CCP, Republican Lawmakers Warn

Cotton, Steel Call CCP’s Logging Logistics Platform ‘Disaster for American Interests’

A Chinese ship pulls into Boston Harbor in 2002/Getty Images

Collin Anderson • December 6, 2022 at 4:59 am

Republican lawmakers are sounding the alarm over China’s state-controlled shipping logistics platform, which they say could hand over “sensitive US government and military data” to the Chinese Communist Party.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Rep. Michelle Steele (R., Calif.) defeated President Joe Biden on Nov. 30 in a letter urging CCP-controlled Digital to “take action to prevent the spread of LOGINK”. A free platform for Beijing Ports, freight forwarders and foreign countries as a “one-stop shop” for their shipment tracking and data management needs. The platform, which is subsidized by China’s Ministry of Transport, is already used at ports in South Korea and Japan, where the United States maintains a significant military presence. Because most US military goods are shipped commercially, CCP could use LOGINK in the Indo-Pacific and elsewhere to “collect massive amounts of sensitive business and foreign government data,” including US military shipping data, Cotton and Steele warned in their letter.

“The CCP can use their control over LOGINK to identify early trends in the movement of US military supplies and equipment through commercial ports while denying other countries the same data on Chinese military assets,” the lawmakers wrote. “With the data that a global logging system can provide, the CCP can effectively identify key transit nodes necessary to control the physical movement of goods. This is a disaster for American interests.”

The cotton and steel letter comes nearly two months after the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission linked LOGINK to the CCP’s effort to increase “global dependence on China” through “domestic infrastructure” and “transportation equipment.” That effort has already seen more than 20 global ports adopt CCP’s platform, which “could expose US military logistics to increased surveillance by Chinese intelligence and military operators” and “enable Chinese military planners to disrupt US military operations,” according to the commission. As a result, Cotton and Steele are pressing the Biden administration to explain its efforts to prevent the spread of LOGINK, including through a potential US alternative forum.

The Biden administration has been given January 11 to respond to the letter Washington Free Beacon “takes very seriously all potential cyber threats to the maritime transportation system and its related infrastructure” and “continually evaluates the tools and authorities available to address them” but declined to “preview potential responses to specific companies under consideration.” Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Joni Ernst (Iowa), and Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and Reps. More than 25 congressional Republicans, including Mike Gallagher (Wis.), Maria Salazar (Fla.), and Guy Reschenthaler (Penn.), joined the cotton and steel letter.

The administration has faced sharp criticism from Republicans for tapping soft Chinese officials to serve in critical roles. For example, in September, Biden appointed liberal political consultant John Podesta — who has praised China on climate change and called for direct Chinese investment in American infrastructure — to oversee $370 billion in climate spending. A month later, Biden hired Nina Hachigian to serve in a newly created State Department post aimed at countering China’s growing influence. Before taking the job, Hachigian worked with two CCP front groups to foster ties between Washington and Beijing. Biden’s representative on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Business Advisory Council, Dominic Ng, has a long history of cozying up to the CCP, going so far as to criticize the United States for refusing to join China’s Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. Governments use it to conquer foreign countries through direct infrastructure investment.


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