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My Chinese drone ban is a big win for US national security but CCP tech still poses major threats

OpinionMy Chinese drone ban is a big win for US national security but CCP tech still poses major threats

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After leading the fight for years to ban the federal government from buying Chinese-made drones, my American Security Drone Act finally passed and was recently signed into law. 

This is a huge win in our fight against Communist China because this bipartisan bill, which was co-led by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and led by Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Joe Courtney, D-Conn., in the House, stops a major method of exploitation used by Communist China and other evil regimes that want to hurt Americans and spy on our military, families and businesses.

Communist China’s commitment to spying on America was on full display last year as we watched its spy balloon soar across the United States. While that balloon made a lot of headlines as worried Americans felt the tensions of a possible threat to the homeland for the first time in several decades, my drone bill met resistance in Congress. Thank goodness it passed. 

Chinese military parade with drone

A drone is displayed at the military parade in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, on Sept. 3, 2015. (Simon Song/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

You have to think of every drone made in Communist China just like that balloon. Each one has the ability to gather data or carry harmful payloads across America’s military installations, and target our critical infrastructure, natural resources, businesses and families.

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We all need to accept that Communist China wants to destroy the American way of life. Everything that comes from Communist China is a threat to our freedoms and security. This is especially true for technology.

Chinese technology is used to elevate the standing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through manipulation and data theft with the ultimate goal of obtaining leverage over U.S. infrastructure and critical resources to weaken and dominate us and replace America as the world’s largest economy. That is Xi’s dream, and he will do whatever it takes to make it a reality.

For years, Xi was making progress toward accomplishing this goal thanks to the prolific reliance on his fleet of Communist Chinese drones that the U.S. has widely adopted from our local law enforcement agencies to the Department of the Interior and backyard hobbyists.

The new law changes this and sets us on a course to undo the damage done by Communist China gobbling up over 80% of a critically important, global industry.

China’s flagship drone company, DJI, has received a lot of attention and documented CCP government subsidies, which makes sense given that DJI commands more than 70% of the world’s commercial drone market. But, they are just one of many companies the Communist regime relies on to maintain control of the global drone market. 

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Other Chinese drone makers like Autel, High Great and EHang (to name a few) are critical for Communist China to achieve the CCP’s military-civil fusion strategy where the government increasingly and intentionally blurs the lines between commercial and military use for technology and resources in an integrated industrial strategy.

This is why my bill was necessary. Drones are part of our everyday lives. They provide critical public safety information; monitor traffic patterns and the weather; fight wildfires; assist emergency responders; inspect bridges and ports; survey land and resources; and much more. 

It is important the federal government set the standard on what drones are safe and free of security risks for our communities and not prop up Chinese companies by ceasing to buy Beijing’s drones.

Playing company whack-a-mole with tens of thousands of companies that are a part of the Chinese drone industry is completely unfeasible for the U.S. government. Stopping our procurement of these drones across the board is much more efficient and we took a huge step toward that when the American Security Drone Act became law. 

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We also prohibited the federal government from operating these drones and stopped the use of federal grants to buy them to make sure we are doing as much as possible to eliminate this threat.

I am proud to have led the fight against Chinese drones and while this is an important victory, there is much more work to do. The threats of tech from Communist China, like TikTok and advanced artificial intelligence, are only growing and we know that special interests backing Chinese-made drones and other technologies will continue to throw up roadblocks to banning these unsafe devices at the local, state and federal level. 

We must use this momentum to continue removing CCP-backed products, from infiltrating American life, spying on our critical infrastructure and stealing our data and helping Communist China weaken U.S. freedom and security at home and abroad.

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I will continue fighting to eliminate the threats we face from Communist China with port cranes, networked cameras, batteries and energy storage systems, satellite communications technologies, LIDAR, quantum information technologies, microelectronics, AI, biotech and much more.

It is critical that we enhance U.S. economic independence and security and end the tyranny of an industry monopoly by the CCP. I won’t stop until our country is completely safe from all threats posed by the importation of Chinese and adversary-backed technologies.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM SEN. RICK SCOTT

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