Beware of strategic risks in China-US cyber contention

By Zhang Jingwei
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 11, 2015
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[By Jiao Haiyang/] 

China and the United States have disagreed about cyber security for a long time. Both countries accuse each other of intruding into each other's networks and mistrusted each other considering the intrusions were government-backed.

Various dialogue mechanisms exist in China-U.S. bilateral ties, and the topics range from economy to strategic national security. In all the past dialogues, cyber security has been a focus, which in part shows that the issue has not been solved yet and is growing to become a problem restricting the development of bilateral ties.

The Chinese national news agency Xinhua quoted a New York Times report dated July 31, saying that the Obama administration planned to take revenge measures against China for the earlier cyber attacks suffered by U.S. government agencies.

Although the New York Times' allegation has yet to be verified, and the U.S. government did not point the source of cyber attacks to a certain country, but China will undoubtedly be Washington's revenge target.

If the U.S. government publically uses the word "revenge" and puts it into action, a U.S.-China cyber war will be unavoidable, which will put all governmental, corporate and personal data at risk. Given that the Internet is a part of daily life for most countries, this new type of war will cause losses as heavy as any traditional wars, although no guns, smoke and bloodshed will be seen. In the virtual China-U.S. cyber war, both sides will suffer huge losses while neither will end up victorious.

This is why this war will do no good. In light of this, the United States had better negotiate with China than just act capricious. Since both countries could remain calm about the issues concerning Taiwan, trade and Tibet, cyber conflicts should not become a more difficult issue.

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