Will China Mobile Get Its U.S. License Approved? – Business Insider

From a foreign investment/international trade perspective, this is an awesome story chock full of unresolved bilateral issues:

Concerned about possible cyber spying, U.S. national security officials are debating whether to take the unprecedented step of recommending that a Chinese government-owned mobile phone giant be denied a license to offer international service to American customers.

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile provider, applied in October for a license from the Federal Communications Commission to provide service between China and the United States and to build facilities on American soil. (LA Times)

via Will China Mobile Get Its U.S. License Approved? – Business Insider.


U.S.-China Officials Try to Defuse Chen Case – Businessweek

U.S. and Chinese officials are racing to resolve the case of a fugitive human rights activist, and ensure it doesn’t derail annual talks between top policy makers later this week.

Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell arrived in Beijing yesterday, earlier than planned, to prepare for the gathering, two U.S. officials said yesterday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner are still scheduled to meet counterparts in Beijing May 3-4 amid reports the U.S. is protecting blind activist Chen Guangcheng, according to the officials, who declined further comment.

U.S.-China Officials Try to Defuse Chen Case – Businessweek.


China cyber capability puts US forces at risk-report | Reuters

US supply chain could be penetrated by China – report Risk of “catastrophic failure” of US networks cited Congress weighing cybersecurity billsBy Jim WolfWASHINGTON, March 8 Reuters – Chinese cyberwarfare would pose a “genuine risk” to the U.S. military in a conflict, for instance over Taiwan or disputes in the South China Sea, according to a report prepared for the U.S. Congress.Operations against computer networks have become fundamental to Beijings military and national development strategies over the past decade, said the 136-page analysis by Northrop Grumman Corp released on Thursday by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

via China cyber capability puts US forces at risk-report | Reuters.


China, Corporations and Internet Censorship

The Chinese government has developed sophisticated methods to monitor and repress the social-media activities of its ‘netizens’. Internet censorship in China also reflects the tangled relationship Beijing presently has with Western internet companies.

Prepared by: ISN staff

This week we have tried to determine just how much the internet and social media empower individuals or aid and abet corrupt and coercive regimes. Our unsurprising conclusion is that such media is Janus-faced – it does indeed liberate and repress. In the latter case, governments have become increasingly sophisticated in how they use the internet to maintain their grip on power. In this respect, the Chinese government’s manipulation of social media to monitor and repress the activities of its ‘netizens’ stands out as a representative case study – a negative case study, unfortunately, that also reflects the tangled relationship Beijing presently has with Western internet companies.

Social unrest, social media, and Chinese censorship

Control and manipulation of mass media outlets has been part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CPC) mandate for generations. However, the emergence of the internet and social media such as Facebook (not to mention micro-blogging sites like Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter) prompted a change in the CPC’s approach to monitoring and censoring media outlets – i.e., it decided to decentralize its traditional oversight of China’s mass media. But it was only after a number of ‘ mass incidents’ (the official term for civil unrest in China) that Beijing developed a strategic approach to protect CPC ideology in cyberspace.

via China, Corporations and Internet Censorship.


China’s Iran-Oil Import Angst

Thus far, Beijing has found little wiggle room to resist the U.S.-E.U.-Saudi common vision that severe sanctions be used to shut down the bulk of Iran’s oil exports by June.

The reality being revealed in this confrontation is that China has much less ability to maneuver independently in the global oil system—whether in the market or in diplomatic and military matters—than most analysts would lead us to believe.

Preface: What are Washington v. Beijing´s strategic objectives here ?

In my assessment, there are clear underlying energy’market security reasons why the U.S. is pursuing this geopolitical path.  The U.S. aim is to prevent Iran from projecting greater influence over key Gulf oil-market players Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the UAE, Kuwait and etc. as the U.S. withdraws from its over-extended presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This draw-down is very important for U.S. strategy globally; but Washington will not accept Iran gaining greater influence over other local OPEC producers and thereby the global oil market (aka, The Global Barrel) as it steps back.

via petroleumworld.


Iranian ships reach Syria, Assad allies show support

Russia, China and Iran showed support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday, days before an international meeting likely to pile more pressure on him to step down in the face of an increasingly bloody uprising.

Assad met a senior Russian politician in Damascus, who reiterated Moscow’s support for his self-styled reform programme and spoke out against any foreign intervention in the conflict, Russian and Syrian news agencies reported.

China accused Western countries of stirring up civil war in Syria, and two Iranian warships docked at a Syrian naval base, underscoring rising international tensions over the near year-long crisis.

Government forces pressed on with their crackdown on the anti-Assad uprising, with opposition activists reporting five people killed in renewed shelling of an opposition-held district of Homs and troops and militia blockading Hama. Both cities have been in the forefront of the revolt.

via Iranian ships reach Syria, Assad allies show support | Reuters.


U.S. Not Afraid To Say It: China’s The Cyber Bad Guy : NPR

American officials have long complained about countries that systematically hack into U.S. computer networks to steal valuable data, but until recently they did not name names.

In the last few months, that has changed. China is now officially one of the cyber bad guys and probably the worst.

“We know, and there’s good evidence … of very deliberate, focused cyber espionage to capture very valuable research and development information, or innovative ideas, or source code or business plans for their own advantage,” says Mike McConnell, a former director of national intelligence and before that, the director of the National Security Agency.

It’s the Chinese he’s talking about, though other countries — like Russia — also engage in cyber espionage to gain a competitive edge. China stands out as especially aggressive.

“China does not care what other people think,” says Richard Bejtlich, the chief security officer at MANDIANT, a company that helps firms deal with cyber intrusions.

“Culturally, they are very interested in being seen as responsible, but when it comes to their actual work on the ground, if you try kicking them out of your network on a Friday, they’re back on a Monday,” he says.

via U.S. Not Afraid To Say It: China’s The Cyber Bad Guy : NPR.


Joint Chiefs Chair: Chinese Hackers ‘Not Necessarily Hostile

This headline from CNN – “Joint Chiefs Chair: Chinese Hacking Not Necessarily a Hostile Act” – reads like it came from the Onion. But don’t jump into your bunker yet – the reasoning behind this apparently blissfully naive statement by General Martin Dempsey is at least slightly plausible:

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he “believe(s) someone in China is hacking into our systems and stealing technology and intellectual property, which at this point is a crime.”

But Dempsey said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee that he cannot attribute the Chinese hacking to China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, that if it could be proven that the PLA was behind a hacking of the defense infrastructure, whether it would it be considered a “hostile act,” Dempsey said such wasn’t necessarily the case.

Now, you can quibble over the semantics in this. A cyberattack on the United States’ defenses might not come from the Chinese government itself – though one has to wonder how much privacy hackers enjoy, given China’s notoriously censor-happy culture. Moreover, even if a private hacker was good enough to evade the Chinese government’s own crop of cybersecurity experts and bypass our security, it’s fairly obvious that the hacker in question would be able to sell his method for a very high price.

via Joint Chiefs Chair: Chinese Hackers ‘Not Necessarily Hostile’ | TheBlaze.com.


China’s Hacking Of U.S. Remains A Top Concern : NPR

U.S officials have long complained about countries that systematically hack into U.S. computer networks to steal valuable data, but until recently they did not name names.

In the last few months, that has changed. China is now officially one of the cyber bad guys and probably the worst.

“We know and there’s good evidence … of very deliberate, focused cyber espionage to capture very valuable research and development information, or innovative ideas, or source code or business plans for their own advantage,” says Mike McConnell, a former director of national intelligence and before that the director of the National Security Agency.

It’s the Chinese he’s talking about, though other countries also engage in cyber espionage to gain a competitive edge. Russia, for example, but China stands out as especially aggressive.

“China does not care what other people think,” says Richard Bejtlich, the chief security officer at MANDIANT, a company that helps firms deal with cyber intrusions. “Culturally they are very interested in being seen as responsible, but when it comes to their actual work on the ground; if you try kicking them out of your network on a Friday, they’re back on a Monday.”

The increased willingness of the U.S. government to point a finger at the Chinese dates from an official report released last October that identified them “as the world’s most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage.”

via China’s Hacking Of U.S. Remains A Top Concern : NPR.


China Cyber Attack Threat

It is clear that cyber warfare will be part of any future conflict and we must become prepared for that type of combat here on the homeland front.

Two recent NPR stories highlighted the continuing potential for cyber attacks.  One focused on the threat that China poses and the other story on what we should be doing in general to legislate cyber defenses for the private sector and our critical infrastructure–the vast majority of which is owned and operated by private business.

It is clear to me that China is actively working to determine the how best to attack our military and industrial complexes.  The cyber war of the future has already begun.  Going back to my military training let’s consider what it is that they are doing.

via China Cyber Attack Threat.


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