China-controlled mailing platform could leak US military data to CCP, Republican lawmakers warn

Cotton, Steel calls CCP’s LOGINK logistics platform ‘a disaster for American interests’

A Chinese ship enters Boston Harbor in 2002 / Getty Images

Collin Anderson • Dec 6, 2022 4:59 am

Republican lawmakers are sounding the alarm over a state-controlled Chinese shipping logistics platform they say could leak “sensitive US government and military data” to the Chinese Communist Party.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Rep. Michelle Steel (R., California) in a Nov. 30 letter urged President Joe Biden to “take action to stop the proliferation of LOGINK,” a CCP-controlled digital device platform that offers Beijing ports, freight forwarders and other nations free of charge 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 being deployed at ports in South Korea and Japan, where the United States maintains a significant military presence. Because most US military supplies are shipped commercially, the 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 Steel warned in their letter.

“The CCP could use its control of LOGINK to detect early trends in the movement of U.S. military goods and equipment through commercial ports, while withholding the same data on Chinese military goods from other countries,” the lawmakers wrote. “With the data that a global LOGINK system could provide, the CCP could effectively identify key transportation nodes needed to control the physical movement of goods. This would be a disaster for American interests.”

Cotton and Steel’s letter comes about two months after a US-China Economic and Security Review Commission linked LOGINK to CCP efforts to shed “global dependence on China” through “domestic infrastructure” and “transportation equipment.” raise. Those efforts have already resulted in more than 20 global ports adopting the CCP’s platform, a worrying trend that “could expose U.S. military logistics to increased surveillance by Chinese intelligence agencies and military operators” and even “allow Chinese military planners to … to disrupt US military operations”. according to the commission. As a result, Cotton and Steel are urging the Biden administration to detail its efforts to curb the spread of LOGINK, including through a potential alternative US platform.

The Biden administration, which has until Jan. 11 to respond to the letter, said Washington Free Beacon that it “takes all potential cyber threats to the maritime transport system and associated infrastructure extremely seriously” and “continuously assesses the tools and authorities available to counter them,” but declined to “consider possible responses to specific companies that may be in Be considered to check in advance. More than 25 Republicans in Congress, including Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Joni Ernst (Iowa), and Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee), and Reps. Mike Gallagher (Wis.), Maria Salazar (Fla.), and Guy Reschenthaler (Penn. ), joined the letter from Cotton and Steel.

The administration was heavily criticized by Republicans for using officials who were soft on China in key roles. In September, for example, Biden appointed liberal political adviser 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 for a newly created position at the State Department aimed at countering China’s growing influence. Hachigian worked with two CCP front groups to promote Washington-Beijing ties before accepting the job. Biden’s representative on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Business Advisory Council, Dominic Ng, also has a long history of coziness with the CCP, going so far as to criticize the United States for refusing to recognize Beijing’s “Belt and Road” Initiative to join what the Chinese government uses to subjugate foreign nations through direct infrastructure investments.


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