On the radio program of conservative talker Laura Ingraham, Michele Bachmann rattled off a litany of complaints against China, accusing the country of blinding U.S. satellites with lasers, selling weapons to terrorist regimes and engaging in cyber attacks on both U.S. businesses and the military.
“China has widespread intellectual property theft of United States’ intellectual property. Don’t forget that,” Bachmann told Ingraham. “They’ve also been engaged in industrial espionage against the West as well. And they actively have engaged in cyber attacks both on our military and on our commercial companies.”
“And don’t forget I sit on the intelligence committee. This is an open source document. I’m not sharing something I shouldn’t,” she said, “but China has blinded United States satellites with their lasers. They’ve also supplied arms to the Taliban, and they’ve helped North Korea deliver missiles to Iran and Pakistan. And they’ve assisted Iran with their nuclear program.”
“Just keep these things in mind when it comes to China, they are a very bad actor,” she added.
China is suspected in a massive hacking incident uncovered last month.
Chinese-made weapons have also turned up in Afghanistan, but most intelligence experts have noted that they came from nation’s friendly to the U.S. such as Pakistan, or through adversaries such as Iran, not through direct sales from China.
And the United Nations has accused China of allowing North Korea to transport weapons to Iran, though China denies it.
As for the claim that China blinded U.S. satellites with lasers, in 2007, U.S. officials announced that a laser had “illuminated” one of its satellites over China. The satellite was unharmed and in the ensuing months, more satellites were hit.
As the Union of Concerned Scientists outlined in its 2009 report on the incident (PDF), the laser was likely deployed to track the orbit of the satellites, something many nations do, which causes no damage to the satellites’ sensory equipment.