Australia is to draw up a list of critical and emerging technologies that are subject to restrictions on foreign research collaboration, a parliament intelligence committee heard yesterday.
Security agencies already screen international collaboration on military or dual-use technologies from universities, but in a review led by the prime minister’s office and the Australian Department of Home Affairs, other emerging technologies that present an economic risk would be identified.
It was a departure from past practice that economic competition was being considered in a national interest assessment, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) Director-General Mike Burgess said.
“Global circumstances are driving us in that direction, but that does not mean to say that we want to become totally protectionist as a nation,” he told the parliament’s intelligence and security committee.
The committee is holding an inquiry into national security risks to universities, and many submissions have focused on China, from where a large number of students come.
Hosting international students was important for Australia’s economy and for diversity of thought at universities, Burgess said.
ASIO investigated covert attempts by foreign states to obtain Australian intellectual property and the security agency had 60 interactions with universities last year, he said.
China had been open about its ambition in technology research and its Thousand Talents Program, to recruit people familiar with foreign technology and intellectual property, was “in of itself not concerning,” Burgess said.
“It is a natural extension of China’s strategic plan to become a world leader in technology, and secure their economic and military advantage,” he said.
In the US, several researchers at universities and NASA have been charged by the US Department of Justice with lying about their involvement in the Thousand Talents Program.
The US adopted a law to identify and limit the sharing of critical and emerging technologies with China in 2018.
Burgess did not identify China, but said that one foreign state had been highly active in its interference attempts in Australia, including cyberintrusions.
He said he was in regular discussion with Australia’s “Five Eyes” intelligence counterparts — Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US — as well as other allies, who shared the same concerns on foreign interference.
In a written submission, ASIO described researchers and their families being threatened by actors seeking to have sensitive research provided to a foreign state.
SUPPLY HICCUPS: Poor manufacturing yields at Apple’s overseas suppliers have caused at least one maker of its new MiniLED displays to pause production, sources said The next-generation display destined to be a highlight of Apple Inc’s upcoming top-tier iPad Pro is facing production issues that could lead to short initial supplies of the new device, people familiar with the matter said. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant plans to showcase a new MiniLED display technology in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro set to be announced as early as the second half of this month. However, the firm’s overseas suppliers are dealing with poor manufacturing yields, the people who asked not to be named discussing sensitive matters said. At least one of the MiniLED makers has had to pause production as
RETAIL BANKING EXIT: Clients are concerned whether their rights would be protected, while employees were caught by surprise as the bank had just upgraded its services Citibank Taiwan Ltd (花旗台灣) yesterday said that credit card clients could continue using their cards as operations would continue normally until it sells its consumer banking business. As of February, the bank had 2.86 million credit cards in circulation in Taiwan, of which 2.17 million had been used in the past six months, ranking it sixth among all banks, data from the Financial Supervisory Commission showed. Credit card spending by Citibank clients totaled NT$15.66 billion (US$552.6 million) in February, also ranking sixth among banks in Taiwan. Citibank was the only foreign bank that made it into the top six. Customers should not
END OF AN ERA: The Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets have served the airline well, but new-generation aircraft are more fuel-efficient, CAL chairman Hsieh Shih-chien said China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 華航) yesterday bid farewell to its last four Boeing 747-400 planes, ending the era of the “Queen of the Skies” at the airline. CAL has since 1975 operated a total of 29 747 series aircraft manufactured by Boeing Co. In 1990, it started receiving delivery of 19 747-400 jumbo jets, with the last one, the B-18215, delivered in 2005, it said. The B-18215 was the last of the passenger model produced by Boeing, making the 16-year-old aircraft the world’s youngest 747-400, CAL chairman Hsieh Shih-chien (謝世謙) told an event to bid farewell to the planes at Taiwan Taoyuan
DIVERSE SUPPLY: TSMC chairman Mark Liu said the firm’s US$12 billion investment in Arizona would succeed with continued bipartisan support from the US Congress Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, on Monday took part in a virtual White House summit about a global semiconductor shortage and Washington’s plans to strengthen US supply chains. The Hsinchu-based company was among 19 firms, including fellow chipmakers Samsung Electronics Co, GlobalFoundries Inc and Intel Corp, that attended the summit hosted by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, US National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. US President Joe Biden told executives in the meeting that there is bipartisan support in the US Congress for efforts to strengthen the US