By Rob Garver
VOA News
April 02, 2019

WASHINGTON — A flurry of seemingly disconnected actions by the U.S. government to curb the involvement of Chinese technology firms in the U.S. economy over the past year reflects the Trump administration’s intensifying concern that those firms could — now or in the future — abet espionage by Beijing’s intelligence services.

The actions include tightening scrutiny of foreign investorsin a broad range of industries, publicly warning allies about looming vulnerabilities, and blocking China-linked companies from buying American companies involves in key industries, like semiconductor design.

For now, experts say it has largely been a patchwork approach to protecting industries seen as critical to U.S. national security. But there is also evidence that, behind the scenes, policymakers are racing to develop a more coherent approach to balancing commerce with China and national security interests.

At the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, for example, efforts are underway to create secure supply chains for equipment either deemed essential to national security or that supports critical infrastructure within the U.S.

“I think they’ll get their act together, it’s just that it’s such a new problem that it hasn’t happened yet,” said James Lewis, the director of the Technology Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington……

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