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Two Cases Aim to Cut Off China and Iran From U.S. Technology

The U.S. government announced charges in two separate cases on Wednesday aimed at enforcing laws blocking the transfer of critical technologies, part of a broader campaign to hamper military efforts and weapons production in rival countries.

One of the complaints was against a U.S. citizen born in China who has been arrested and accused of stealing trade secrets from a private company. The technology, according to court documents, “would be dangerous to U.S. national security if obtained by international actors.”

A Justice Department complaint filed in U.S. District Court in California said the stolen material would help the development of technology that allows space-based systems to track ballistic and hypersonic missiles. U.S. officials said technology related to hypersonic missiles and missile tracking was among the Chinese military’s top priorities.

In the other complaint, the U.S. government accused two Iranian men of trying to illegally procure American goods and technology for Iran’s aerospace industry. The technology, according to court documents, involved firefighting equipment and flame detectors.

The charges are the latest in a series of legal actions aimed at cutting off Iran, Russia and China from American technology. A year ago, the Justice and Commerce Departments formed the Disruptive Technology Strike Force to enforce export control laws and disrupt production of weaponry in Iran meant for Russia and Iranian proxy groups. It was also intended to stall China’s efforts to develop advanced military technology.

Officials from the strike force are meeting with Ukrainian representatives this week in Phoenix to discuss efforts to stop the flow of American technology and U.S.-designed components to Russia, Iran and China.

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