Chinese and US Cyber Relations Remain Cold at Best

Chinese and US Cyber Relations Remain Cold at Best

Cyber relations with China have never been very warm; perhaps cordial at best, but this past week’s meeting between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping didn’t do much to thaw the relations. Ben Rhoades ( Ben Rhodes, 2015), the White House deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, talked down the expectations (Defense One, 2015) that the US and China would reach some type of conciliatory agreement in the wake of alleged Chinese state sponsored (National Journal, 2015) cyber-attacks against DOD networks. (New York Times, 2015)

After the meeting had concluded he stated that “’I don’t want to suggest that, you know, we’ve reached an arms control agreement here.’ Rhoades implies that what was signed, is symbolic and holds no real weight. Researching further into this showed that the Chinese signed an extensive cyber security agreement (The Hill, 2015) with Russia, which included a section requiring each side not conduct cyber-attacks against each other. Along with these agreements, China and Russia agreed to share information regarding cyber information.

China refusing to sign a mutual agreement prohibiting attacking each other, seems to me, to be more evidence of the cyber campaign against the U.S. that China is waging. What the Chinese President did state is quite vague and was reported by the (New York Times, 2015) New York Times, “The Chinese government will not in whatever form engage in commercial theft, and hacking against government networks are crimes that must be punished in accordance with the law and relevant international treaties.”

This statement simply affirms international law and in no way holds any weight, however with the Russians, they signed an extensive pact. There is a rift forming between China/Russia/North Korea and the U.S. and the next World War will more than likely start through non-kinetic means. One could logically infer that a marriage between Russia and China can mean only more state-sponsored attacks against the U.S. in the next decade.

Be sure to check out our other blog posts about the Federal IT Security sector and China:

US Federal Cyber Security Landscape
Excellus Blue Cross and Blue Shield Hacked
Cyber Attacks Plague US Department of Energy
Impact of OPM Cyber Attack on Federal IT

Photo credit: nznationalparty / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND


National Journal
New York Times Ben Rhodes
Defense One
New York Times
The Hill

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About Matthew Eliason

Matthew Eliason was born in Houston, Texas.  Upon graduating from high school, he joined the Navy.  His first tour was as an Information Systems Technician of a 130 client DOD network where he developed the documentation and maintenance procedures from 2007-2012.  In 2012, he transferred shore duty where he serves as a system and security administrator. He graduates with a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology from American Military University in November of 2015. He holds the CompTIA Security+ certification and has extensive experience in DOD Information Assurance (IA) and Cyber Security compliance and procedures.  He enjoys golf, hiking, watching football in his spare time.