Hyping Hacking Attacks:
US Trying to Humiliate China
By He Hui
Hyping hacking attacks is a fine excuse for the U.S. government to drum up support for its increases in military spending and information technology.
Translated By Chase Coulson
4 February 2013
Edited by Heather Martin
China - Huanqiu - Original Article (Chinese)
The U.S.’ hyping of Chinese hacking attacks is getting pretty old already. Recently, as the U.S. has been on the receiving end of hacking attacks from Chinese hackers, this issue has once again been brought to the forefront in U.S. media publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Twitter and other such microblogging media.
Previously, officials have made China’s position clear by extending an invitation to the U.S. to provide proof and offering to cooperate in an investigation. As a matter of fact, every time it has been criticized by the U.S., the Chinese side has been consistent and unanimous in its attitude, yet on the U.S. side, mum has been the word. In light of this situation, one cannot help but suspect that the U.S. is using criticism as a pretext to assert some kind of an agenda. But what is the U.S. trying to assert exactly? It is a question about which it is worth stopping to think.
There are at least three direct benefits to sensationalizing the hacking incidents: First of all, it causes the U.S. and yes, even the world, to become wary of perceived threats from China. China is the world's second largest economy; from the perspective of its speed of development and economic power, a direct attack on China to block her development is a difficult task, but subtle flanking tactics and using the hacking attacks as an excuse to create a scandal could definitely cause some interference if used to the right extent. Once a clear agenda forms amid all the commotion, whether or not there is any concrete proof available, it will still exacerbate the mistrust that the U.S. and the world feels toward China. And through all the sensationalism, the U.S. can, without a doubt, enjoy the ”residual benefits” that are brought on, while China can only suffer in silence.
Second, with the vague and unclear attitude reflected in all the media hype, the U.S. government can certainly play others against one another for its own benefit, creating an excuse to preemptively increase the military budget and prop up its “reserves.” The U.S. has always emphasized military investment, but it is confronted with a high federal budget deficit, and those from different walks of life have very different opinions regarding military expenditures. From an objective standpoint, hyping hacking attacks is a fine excuse for the U.S. government to drum up support for its increases in military spending and information technology. In this way, as long as circumstances so demand, the related powers inside the U.S. government can use the issue as ammunition. China’s recent affirmation that it has once again conducted successful land-based mid-range anti-missile tests has quite possibly exacerbated the friction produced by the East Asia strategy. And just at that particular moment, the U.S. began sensationalizing the hacking attacks on U.S. companies; this is something that most especially deserves our collective reflection and contemplation.
The third is to safeguard the U.S.’ information superiority. Without a doubt, sensationalizing these hacking attacks on U.S. companies will most certainly discredit Chinese information technology companies to their peers in the field. As everyone knows, a good number of Chinese information technology companies have been developing quite rapidly in recent years, which has produced extreme competition with their U.S. counterparts. Playing up suspicions that Chinese hackers have used the Internet to illegally obtain information has not only thrust the Chinese government into a precarious situation in which it is faced with a crisis of reputation, but has also put Chinese IT organizations in a tight spot where they are faced with undue competition and suspicion. Naturally, this is beneficial to the U.S. government and U.S. companies.
With the rapid speed of development of information technology and Internet technology, a country’s information security is directly related to all aspects of military security, economic security and a secure society. Not only do the U.S. media love to stir the pot, but even the U.S. government itself is more than happy to watch from the sidelines and make off with the bone while the dogs are fighting over it, as it were.
In the face of U.S. sensationalism, China wishes to clear its name and to remind the world to remain calm and clear-headed in this matter.
The author is vice president of the Communications University of China, Yuqing Research Institute
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