The balance of global power spreads in the Internet as China rebuffs allegations that it is behind the hacking of some industry and company websites in the US. Hong Lei, the spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, came out with a statement, denying the report that China was behind the data thefts committed against several US companies.
In government-controlled China Daily, a columnist called the world “leaderless,” referring perhaps to the alleged decline of the United States’ control on global politics and economy. The matter of who is more powerful in the global scale has become such an important topic for political analysts, with several of them recognizing Beijing’s potential to overthrow the United States’ lofty position in the international community in the future.
This latest US hacking is just one way to show that the battle between the states, who maintain to have good bilateral relations, has become more and more interesting. The report by Mandiant said that a 12-story white office tower based in Shanghai is being used by a unit of cyberwarriors, which is being supported by the People’s Liberation Army. Allegedly, the so-called Comment Crew or Shanghai Group uses the tower as their command center.
Cyber warfare is the new face of espionage these days. Just like in the movies, virtually all secrets that passed through optic cables can get infiltrated with just a few mouse clicks. That is why there is a great fear that China is more than just spying on government secrets, but is actually after international trade secrets as well.
With China booms in just about every field—military, economic and even social in the long run—there should be no surprise that it is doing all it can to maintain the power it yields over its trade partners, reports have indicated. Martin Libicki, senior management scientist at the Rand Corporation, recently told TechNewsWorld that it is quite normal for governments to spy on each other, but infiltrating trade secrets is a definite no-no.
In the United States, cyber threats are considered equal to physical attacks since the damage that such threats can do is damaging to commercial industries and even to the government.
It is not much a surprise that China is using the Internet to spy on governments and companies, especially one as technologically vulnerable as the United States. As one of the leading users of the world wide web in public and private transactions, Washington’s secret is severely vulnerable to cyber attacks.
One cannot undermine the resolve of the United States to crack down on these attacks. Although it remains to be seen if Washington is prepared against such kinds of attacks, one can only hope that these cyber attacks will not escalate to anything violent. After all, a conflict between the two biggest economies in the world cannot possibly do anything good for the international community, especially for those who are depending on these two governments to be stable.
China and the United States may trade barbs for a while regarding the recent US hacking, but cyber attacks are definitely in the equation now when one talks about espionage and warfare.