China’s Trojan Horse Threat to American Ports Revealed: GOP Demands Action

The House Republicans are not taking any chances when it comes to securing the United States’ borders. They are demanding answers from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a new letter after reports raised the alarm of Chinese-made ship-to-shore cranes in operation at a large majority of U.S. ports. These cranes pose a “trojan horse” threat and could allow the Chinese Communist Party to know what is coming and going from American ports. This could include military equipment and other sensitive materials. Even worse, the ports could be shut down without a single shot being fired.

The lawmakers, spearheaded by Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R-TN), are concerned about China’s potential ability to track cargo and alter port operations from afar as a result of the crane manufacturer’s close ties to the CCP and People’s Liberation Army. They demand more information about how much the Biden administration knows about this threat from the CCP and what, if anything, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is doing about it.

The fact that the parent company of ZPMC, China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC), is a leading Belt and Road Initiative contractor with close ties to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and participates in military civil fusion, is disconcerting. This is especially given the prevalence of ZPMC cranes in U.S. ports. The GOP lawmakers are concerned that if an adversary exploits the operational technology (OT) system of these cranes, port operations could completely shut down, suspending all commercial activity which would also disrupt our nation’s military and commercial supply chains.

Moreover, any potential port shutdown could create catastrophic economic and security consequences. These vulnerabilities could provide opportunities to near-peer nation-state adversaries, such as China, to cripple our economy from behind a computer screen. The GOP lawmakers remind Mayorkas that DHS is the lead federal agency responsible for our nation’s maritime port security and cybersecurity. America’s supply chain and economic security are largely dependent on maritime ports, which help facilitate $5.4 trillion worth of commercial and military goods, annually. Therefore, it is important that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) takes action to prevent any potential threats at the ports.

It seems with this issue, as with most faced by President Biden, the administration wouldn’t have done anything on its own to confront the threat. The House GOP committee leaders demand that Mayorkas “schedule a briefing to Committee staff” on the issue of CCP-linked cranes with a deadline of April 14. In addition, the letter demands more information about the risk assessment and emergency preparedness measures in place by sector risk management agencies (SRMAs) as directed by the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act for the Transportation System Sector, specifically as it relates to the maritime transportation sector.

In conclusion, it is the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure the safety and security of the United States’ borders. The letter from the GOP lawmakers to Mayorkas lays bare the concerns about China’s potential ability to track cargo and alter port operations from afar. It is important that the U.S. taxpayers know what DHS is doing about this threat from the CCP, and the Republicans are holding Mayorkas accountable.

Written by Staff Reports

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