April 05, 2018

Careful What You Wish for—Change and Continuity in China’s Cyber Threats (Part 1)

By Elsa B. Kania

Although there’s been a discernible reduction in the magnitude of Chinese cyber intrusions in the past few years, the threat has been transformed, not diminished. While US diplomacy has helped reshape Chinese cyber activities during this period, the reorganisation and professionalisation of Chinese cyber forces constitute a greater long-term challenge.

In September 2015, then-US President Barack Obama and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Xi Jinping announced:

[N]either country’s government will conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors.

This agreement was initially hailed as a ‘significant step’ despite strong skepticism about its prospects for success. Initially, reports and assessments pointed to a distinct decrease in the operations of Chinese advanced persistent threat (APT) groups, although a range of factors other than US pressure likely accounted for the change.

Read the full article at ASPI

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