On Thursday (10.31), US Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt ordered the department not to use any drones made in China or with Chinese parts. He added that each of its 810 drones currently contains Chinese-made parts.
According to reports, the US Department of the Interior has been very keen on using drones for emergency relief, disaster monitoring or geological exploration in recent years. As of the end of last year, the Ministry of the Interior had a total of 531 drones and completed tens of thousands of missions.
The report pointed out that people have long been worried that Chinese-made drones may be used to intercept data and then pass the data to Chinese intelligence agencies. Such interception and delivery of intelligence can be done either directly through the back door or through the drone manufacturer.
The New York Times believes that the US Department of the Interior is for national security needs. To this end, the Trump administration of the United States has taken measures to prevent Chinese high-tech companies from obtaining contracts from the US government. Members of the US Congress and two parties proposed relevant legislation last month to ban US federal agencies from purchasing Chinese-made drones.
In fact, before the US Department of the Interior issued a temporary no-fly order, Chinese-made drones have repeatedly raised discussions on security risks. In 2017, the US military decided to stop using the UAV drone for safety reasons.
In May of this year, the US Department of Homeland Security issued a warning that China's drones are at risk of transmitting sensitive images and data to third parties. Last month, a congressional group of the US Democratic and Republican parties submitted a bill requesting that all federal agencies be prohibited from using Chinese-made or assembled drones.
In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yan Shuang said: "We hope that the United States will stop the unwarranted suppression of Chinese enterprises. We hope that the United States will provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies to operate in the United States."