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The U.S. military says China is selling lethal autonomous drones

These drones are literally capable of swarm attacks.

Chinese military drone
Image: Xinhua

Today, US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper released a statement about China manufacturing and selling armed, combat-ready drones.

OneZero has the details on Esper’s declaration. The release of the announcement is also the first time a US official has spoken out against China’s sale of drones.

As we speak, the Chinese government is already exporting some of its most advanced military aerial drones to the Middle East, as it prepares to export its next generation stealth UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] when those come on line. In addition, Chinese weapons manufacturers are selling drones advertised as capable of full autonomy, including the ability to conduct lethal targeted strikes.

The United States reaffirms China’s sale of militarized drones

In September, the country started to advertise drones from the company Ziyan. Drones, mind you, that are capable of swarm attacks.

This doesn’t mean Chinese citizens aren’t against unmanned aerial vehicles. In the city of Bejing, people have started a movement, the accurately named Stop Killer Robots Campaign, in order to stop the sales of militarized drones. Stop Killer Robots published a list of 28 other countries that are joining in their campaign. However, the movement is not against the production of drones.

READ MORE: A UPS drone has successfully delivered prescription meds to homes in North Carolina

Over the past year, China and the US have been at odds with one another over the use of AI in overseas combat. The Department of Defense is concerned about China pushing AI-oriented technology in order to create a highly-monitored country. “All signs point to the construction of a 21st-century surveillance state designed to censor speech and deny basic human rights on an unprecedented scale,” Esper says.

Regardless of how anyone feels about drones used by either the US or China, it’s getting scary out there.

What do you think? Worried about drones being militarized? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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