US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is asking the federal government to investigate if a plan for new subway cars in New York City, designed by a Chinese state-owned firm, could pose a threat to national security, Reuters reports.
The move comes after China’s CRRC Corp, the world’s top passenger train maker, was slammed by US lawmakers during a hearing on Thursday in relation to its access to US projects, the report said.
CRRC, which won a design contest for new subway cars, plans to install new technology in the New York subway system and government agencies must determine whether this poses any threat to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its commuters, Schumer said in a statement to Reuters.
“Given what we know about how cyberwarfare works, and recent attacks that have hit transportation and infrastructure hubs across the country, the Department of Commerce must… thoroughly check any proposals or work China’s CRRC does on behalf of the New York subway system, including our signals, Wi-Fi and more,” Schumer added.
CRRC has also launched a charm campaign in the United States as it seeks to secure a Washington D.C. metro car contract worth over US$500 million, after roaring into the American passenger rail market by dramatically underbidding foreign rivals.
Concerns CRRC could soon set its sights on the much more lucrative US freight market and use its railcars to spy on passengers have prompted a series of legislative proposals.
A bipartisan bill unveiled in the US House recently, which mirrors one proposed in the Senate earlier this year, would prevent transit agencies from spending federal dollars on projects awarded to CRRC.
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