China Developing Brain-Computer Interface

A Chinese company announced that it is developing a brain-computer interface (BCI).

During a tech forum held in Beijing, a system developed by NeuCyber NeuroTech and the Chinese Institute for Brain Research allowed a monkey to control a robotic arm by thinking about grasping an object.

The researchers used electrodes implanted in the brain, a technology similar to Elon Musk’s Neuralink.

China has reportedly considered using the technology for the general population, according to a report from the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET).

The report explains that Chinese scientists have the goal of reaching “BCI-enabled cognitive enhancement.”

“A bibliometric analysis of several hundreds of Chinese documents indicates China embraces this goal and has realistic pathways to achieve it,” the report states. “China’s research in non-invasive and invasive BCI is at the world-class level thanks to indigenous work across the spectrum of related disciplines and China’s ability to benchmark foreign designs.”

CSET translated guidelines for BCI technology as issued by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The guidelines describe numerous uses of BCI technology, including motor, cognitive, and sensory enhancements, as well as its “social value.”

“Non-medical purposes such as attention modulation, sleep regulation, memory regulation, and exoskeletons for augmentative BCI technologies should be explored and developed to a certain extent, provided there is strict regulation and clear benefit,” the guidelines state. “The research design should be scientifically rational, operable, and of scientific value.”

China’s BCI research has raised national security concerns, as some speculate the CCP is aiming to engage in “cognitive warfare.”

A 2023 report by senior fellow at the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore Ryan Clarke, former Army microbiologist now with Feitan College Ziaoxu Sean Lin, and former Air Force intelligence officer L.J. Eads details China’s endeavors to develop military technology that disrupts brain functions.

“NeuroStrike,” according to the report, refers to the “engineered targeting of warfighter and civilian brains using distinct non-kinetic technology” to inhibit one’s brain processes.

The report argues that the CCP “views NeuroStrike and psychological warfare as a core component of its asymmetric warfare strategy against the United States and its Allies in the Indo-Pacific.”

Such research programs are “core strategic focus areas that are designed to be utilized over the near-term and within current state strategic circumstances, such as in Taiwan,” the report states. “Any breakthrough in this research would provide unprecedented tools for the CCP to forcibly establish a new world order, which has been Xi Jinping’s lifelong goal.”