With stepped up cyberattacks on China, US seeks online hegemony
Global Times


(Photo: IC)

The Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday that most cyber attacks on China originate in the US. According to an annual report released by China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (CNCERT), in 2018, 3.34 million computers on the Chinese mainland were controlled by more than 14,000 Trojan or botnet command and control servers in the US, a rise of 90.8 percent compared to 2017.

The US has been accusing China of being the main cybersecurity threat, but based on CNCERT data, US topped the list of sources of such online assaults, Xinhua quoted an expert as saying. 

In terms of security, the US always adopts double standards. In fact, it has been proved that the US is the principal threat to global cybersecurity. This threat refers not only to Trojan programs that originate in the US; it is probably the only country in the world that pursues offensive cybersecurity strategy and considers a unipolar hegemonic order dominated by it in cyberspace as its strategic goal. 

What the US is seeking has never been an equal order in cyberspace, but the exclusive freedom of action and asymmetric, US-centered hegemonic order. This is the biggest threat faced by the online world today. 

We should do away with assumptions that the US is a fair, rational and responsible hegemonic power. It never was, and that is an illusion it has tried to create. In April 2019, the Washington D.C.-based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation found in its research that China "now leads the US" in some scientific and technological areas compared to a decade ago. Although there could be various motives behind the US crackdown on Chinese high-tech enterprises that only the Americans know, we can reasonably conclude that Washington is doing so to seek hegemony in the internet sphere. 

Washington founded the Cyber Command in 2009 and created 133 Cyber Mission Force teams. Meanwhile in February, US Army General Paul Nakasone, who also directs the National Security Agency, said he wants to recruit more people to these teams. These are some ways the US uses to dominate cybespace, which will definitely add to its military cyber capabilities.

On the question of the US girding to launch a cyber war, experts said there is not enough information to support the conjecture. However, what is clear is that there will be no winner in cyber warfare, and China will not be crushed given its might. 

Washington has listed Beijing as its main target for cyberattacks. Such being the case, what we can do in the first place is to improve our systematic defense capabilities at the national level. 

President Xi Jinping said in his speech on cybersecurity in April 2016 that the country needs to build and perfect cyber defense and develop its own cyber deterrence capacity. China must augment its cyber defense and deterrence capabilities to prevent rivals from acting - just like the nuclear sphere.

Such cyber capability itself is neutral. It can be either defensive or offensive while it can be used to either safeguard peace or dominate the world - depending on which country masters it. As a peace-loving country, China must have sufficient technical capability to maintain peace and defend a just order. 

The US accuses China and Chinese companies of posing a threat to its national and cybersecurity. In my view, people shouldn't believe a word of Washington's accusations. The US is not a conscientious hegemon but a Janus-faced rogue. Why should we care about what the US says? 

The halo of a soft power cannot preclude the US from being labeled a cyber hegemon. US President Donald Trump's words and deeds have laid bare Washington's real intentions.