China criticizes new US cyber strategy

China says US only worsens tension with its new strategy, which lays out for the first time publicly that US military plans to use cyber warfare as an option in conflicts

Updated Jul 28, 2015

China on Thursday expressed concern over the Pentagon's updated cyber strategy that stresses the US military's ability to retaliate with cyber weapons, saying this would only worsen tension over Internet security.

New Pentagon cybersecurity strategy lays out for the first time publicly that the US military plans to use cyber-warfare as an option in conflicts with enemies. The 33-page strategy says the Defense Department “should be able to use cyber operations to disrupt an adversary's command and control networks, military-related critical infrastructure and weapons capabilities.”

It presents a potentially far more muscular role for the U.S. military's cyber warriors than the Pentagon was willing to acknowledge in its last strategy rollouts in 2011 and singles out threats from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

China is frequently accused by the United States and its allies of engaged in widespread hacking attacks, charges Beijing always vociferously denies.

Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said that as the world's most technologically advanced nation when it came to the Internet, the United States was only worsening tension over cybersecurity with its new strategy.

"This will further exacerbate contradictions and up the ante on the Internet arms race. We are concerned and worried about this," Geng said.

The United States should stop blackening China's name when it comes to cybersecurity and was in any case hypocritical in its criticism because of the U.S. National Security Agency's Prism snooping programme, he added.

On Monday, the United States and Japan also agreed to the most sweeping changes to their bilateral alliance in more than fifty years, including cyber defense. They agree to share information on threats and vulnerabilities in cyberspace. Alliance members will cooperate to protect critical infrastructure, including working with private industry to secure secrets. Training and education will be shared.

China's Defence Ministry also rebuffed U.S. President Barack Obama's top Asia adviser, Evan Medeirosa, who cast doubt on China's plans to hold a military parade in September to mark the end of World War Two.

China has hinted it will invite representatives from the Western Allies who fought with China during the war to the parade.

Medeiros told Asian media in Washington this week that he had questions about whether a large military parade would really send a signal of reconciliation or promote healing.

Yansheng said that history must be remembered if it was not to be repeated.

There was nothing unusual about holding a military parade to mark the anniversary, and no reason to criticise it, he added.

The parade will be President Xi Jinping's first since he took over as Communist Party leader and military chief in late 2012 and as state president in early 2013.

TRTWorld and agencies