China has long been known to be involved in state sponsored theft of technology secrets from companies around the world, attempting to make up for its technology gaps in consumer and other products by stealing information from companies around the globe. This has been a concern of both Democratic and Republican Administrations going back at least to the Clinton Administration.
Most recently, as discussed in the first of this series, China has become much more aggressive. In today’s commentary, we talk about Chinese aggression through state-sponsored global hacking campaign.
Last week, the United States and a broad coalition accused China of an organized campaign of hacking that included a large Microsoft attack disclosed earlier this year to hackers working on behalf of the Chinese government. The United States was joined by NATO, the European Union, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan in leveling the allegations.Microsoft had previously blamed China for the attack on its Exchange system. Cybersecurity experts were shaken by the scale and volume of the incident, totaling thousands of potential U.S. victims.
In G7 and NATO summit meetings earlier this summer, leaders of those groups accused China of posing systemic challenges to the world order.
Japanese Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi also recently warned of the growing collaboration between the Chinese and Russian governments. That cooperation could mean a fresh surge in state sponsored hacking, theft and corruption which would threaten national security and international stability.
There can be no doubt that a China that already has been engaged in industrial espionage and systematic theft for decades, is now aggressively expanding its campaign of attacks on other country’s infrastructure. More, China’s leaders do not seem to care that they are seen as threats to international law.
In a July speech from Tiananmen Square, site of the massacre of protesters by the Chinese government and Communist Party, Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to the world in an increasingly antagonistic tone. President Xi laid out plans for a new international order, led by China and said that any foreign force that would attempt to bully the Chinese people, the president said, would “have their heads bashed bloody.”
For years, US policy has been one of trying to engage China and expand economic ties, on the theory that a prosperous China would turn toward democracy and personal freedom. Unfortunately, time has proven that a prosperous China only means that they have more resources to expand their lust for power beyond their borders.
The United States must develop a policy of how to counter threats from China, Russia and others who attack our economy, put our infrastructure out of commission (such as the recent attack on a key oil pipeline on the east coast) and threaten other nations in ways that do not involve the military but are just as much an attack as if they did. In a modern world, where governments attack others through electronic means, we must develop a way to respond effectively and to hold accountable the power hungry dictators who threaten the whole world order.
Communism is evil and China is dangerous.