China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain

China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain

China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain

China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain

Synopsis

China's emergence as a great power in the twenty-first century is strongly enabled by cyberspace. Leveraged information technology integrates Chinese firms into the global economy, modernizes infrastructure, and increases internet penetration which helps boost export-led growth. China's pursuit of "informatization" reconstructs industrial sectors and solidifies the transformation of the Chinese People's Liberation Army into a formidable regional power. Even as the government censors content online, China has one of the fastest growing internet populations and most of the technology is created and used by civilians. Western political discourse on cybersecurity is dominated by news of Chinese military development of cyberwarfare capabilities and cyber exploitation against foreign governments, corporations, and non-governmental organizations. Western accounts, however, tell only one side of the story. Chinese leaders are also concerned with cyber insecurity, and Chinese authors frequently note that China is also a victim of foreign cyber - attacks - predominantly from the United States. China and Cybersecurity: Espionage, Strategy, and Politics in the Digital Domain is a comprehensive analysis of China's cyberspace threats and policies. The contributors - Chinese specialists in cyber dynamics, experts on China, and experts on the use of information technology between China and the West - address cyberspace threats and policies, emphasizing the vantage points of China and the U.S. on cyber exploitation and the possibilities for more positive coordination with the West. The volume's multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural approach does not pretend to offer wholesale resolutions. Contributors take different stances on how problems may be analyzed and reduced, and aim to inform the international audience of how China's political, economic, and security systems shape cyber activities. The compilation provides empirical and evaluative depth on the deepening dependence on shared global information infrastructure and the growing willingness to exploit it for political or economic gain.

Excerpt

The information revolution has been a mixed blessing for China and the world. On one hand, computer networks have enhanced economic productivity, national security, and social interaction. In 2009 alone the Internet contributed to 2.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) growth in China and 3.8% in the United States. The Internet contribution to GDP growth from 2004 to 2009 averaged 21% for mature industrialized countries like the United States and Germany and a more modest 3% for high-growth industrializers like China and India, which suggests that the Internet is poised to become even more important as China matures. China has leveraged information technology to integrate its firms into the global economy and modernize its infrastructure, and increasing Internet penetration has helped to boost export-led growth. China’s pursuit of “informatization” is not only remaking industrial sectors but also guiding the transformation of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from a backwards conscript force into a formidable regional power. China has one of the fastest growing Internet populations in the world with 600 million users or “netizens” as of 2013, a quarter of them from rural regions. To the degree that civil society exists in China at all, it exists on the Internet, even as the government censors content online. By 2012 nearly a quarter of the global Internet population (23%) was in China, more than double the next largest Internet nation, the United States (10%), and more than the entire . . .

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