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The U.S. lab that creates supercomputers to simulate tests flights of next-generation military aircraft and submarine warfare is closing a deal to buy a slew of Chinese components.According to The Washington Times, the contract calls for wrapping U.S. made Symantec software around devices made by Chinese telecommunications conglomerate Huawei Technologies.
U.S. officials maintain Huawei has close ties with China’s military, but they own a 51 per cent share of Symantec from a 2008 deal.
Four Republican Senators and one member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence are urging the Pentagon to re-think the arrangement and recognise the risks to national security.
“Given Huawei’s close ties to the [Chinese] government and its military and intelligence sectors, its history of alleged corrupt practices and infringement on intellectual-property rights, and concerns it may act as an agent for a foreign government, Huawei is not an appropriate partner for advanced U.S. research centres – especially those working on critical or classified defence projects for the United States government,” the five lawmakers stated in an Aug. 9 letter to defence Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Mary Schapiro, chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The lawmakers were Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Tom Coburn and Sen. James M. Inhofe, both of Oklahoma, and Rep. Sue Wilkins Myrick, a North Carolina Republican who chairs the House Intelligence subcommittee that oversees counterintelligence.
This is not the first time Chinese computer parts have been selected in military projects. In 2010, the Navy bought 59,000 microchips that could have disabled the missiles in which they were used.