Here’s another reminder of the high stakes of cyber security: China is in the middle of a massive military buildup, and they may be building a new superpower with stolen tech.

U.S. Defense officials have noted that China has managed to hack its way to classified technical documents on several occasions, and now some of that technology is appearing in the latest Chinese weapons. China has reportedly developed incredibly similar versions of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air vehicle, with some of the designs likely stolen by cyber spies.

The country’s military has also essentially cloned U.S. predator drones, Humvees, tanks, and infantry weapons, as well as taken to copying Russian designs. Breaking down the country’s military budget, Next Big Future found that if China were able to match U.S. levels of per capita income, they’d wind up with a military budget three times the size of Uncle Sam’s, comparing it to Russia’s military superiority over Germany’s in WWII.

Among its weapons, China has developed a jet incredibly similar to Lockheed Martin's F-35. 

To China, this isn’t cheating, just sensible planning. It’s much cheaper to let others figure out innovation then replicate the work as long as you can get your hands on the technical specs. There’s also cultural attitudes rooted in Confucianism, where followers are encouraged to copy — then improve — on masterworks.