Chinese military scientists are increasingly collaborating with European universities. The knowledge that the researchers from China gain with this will mainly benefit the People’s Liberation Army. Experts believe that stricter rules are needed in which fields Chinese and Dutch researchers are allowed to collaborate.
This is the conclusion of research by the China Science Investigation, an international partnership where journalists from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Denmark and Switzerland work together.
Largest Military Superpower in 2049
Chinese military scientists from the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) are particularly interested in knowledge about weapons technology, unmanned vehicles, robotics and semiconductors. The NUDT is only one university in China that is involved in research into these technologies: there are also research centres for, for example, the navy and the air force.
In the past twenty years, Chinese military universities have conducted 2,994 studies with European universities. Most studies were done in the United Kingdom (1,389). Germany and the Netherlands are in second and third place with 349 and 288 studies respectively. The NUDT has the most studies to its name of all Chinese military universities, namely 2,210.
China yearns for this knowledge to become the largest military superpower in the world by 2049. President Xi Jinping has never hidden this ambition. But China still has a long way to go to achieve this goal. Western knowledge is indispensable for this. That is why China is investing heavily in the development of its military universities. Cooperation with European institutions is crucial in this regard.
‘Security aspects of Chinese cooperation are now tangible and