A technologist inspects a computer chip.

Sefa Ozel | E + | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – US intelligence agencies have issued a strong warning: America’s status as a global superpower depends on maintaining a lead in five key technologies – and America’s rivals are trying to steal each of them.

Officials said they were concerned that foreign theft of American technology could not only deprive the United States of economic leadership in key sectors, but also threaten the country’s ability to remain active in industries in the first place.

The five technologies identified by intelligence officials are:

Officials cited legal and illegal activities, particularly China’s, that cripple competitiveness in sectors like steel and solar panels. They cited China’s extinction of the Australian rail industry as an example.

“We don’t want what happened in these other industries to happen here,” said Michael Orlando, acting director of the National …

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