Anna Puglisi is a Senior Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). Previously she served as the National Counterintelligence Officer for East Asia, advising senior U.S. and foreign government officials at the highest levels, academia and the private sector on counterintelligence (CI) issues. She played a prominent role in drafting the recently released U.S. National Counterintelligence Strategy, and in designing mitigation strategies for both the public and private sectors to protect technology. As a member of the Senior Analytic Service, she developed multidisciplinary efforts to understand global technology developments and their impact on U.S. competitiveness and national security, as well as efforts to target U.S. technology. Anna also started a government-wide working group looking at developments in biological sciences and has worked on several bio-security issues. She has received numerous awards including the FBI Director’s Award for Excellence. Anna holds an MPA, an MS in environmental science and a BA in Biology with honors, all from Indiana University. She studied at the Princeton in Beijing Chinese language school and was a visiting scholar in Nankai University’s Department of Economics, where she studied China’s S&T policies, infrastructure development and university reforms. She is a co-author of the 2013 study Chinese Industrial Espionage, the first book-length treatment of the topic, as well as countless related proprietary studies.

The Huawei Moment

July 2021

For the first time, a Chinese company—Huawei—is set to lead the global transition from one key national security infrastructure technology to the next. How did Washington, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, fail to protect U.S. firms in this strategic technology and allow a geopolitical competitor to take a leadership position in a national security relevant critical infrastructure such as telecommunications? This policy brief highlights the characteristics of 5G development that China leveraged, exploited, and supported to take the lead in this key technology. The Huawei case study is in some ways the canary in the coal mine for emerging technologies and an illustration of what can happen to U.S. competitiveness when China’s companies do not have to base decisions on market forces.

“Science and technology diplomats” act as brokers as part of China’s broader strategy to acquire foreign technology. Each year, they file hundreds of official reports on their activities. This issue brief illuminates trends in the 642 reports filed by the S&T directorates of Chinese embassies and consulates from 2015 to 2020, quantifying which types of technologies the Chinese government is most focused on acquiring, and from where.

Establishing a new open-source National Science and Technology Analysis Center