Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Chinese Threat-Western Complacency

The Chinese military hacked into a Pentagon computer network in June in the most successful cyber attack on the US defence department, say American ­officials.
The Pentagon acknowledged shutting down part of a computer system serving the office of Robert Gates, defence secretary, but declined to say who it believed was behind the attack.
Current and former officials have told the Financial Times an internal investigation has revealed that the incursion came from the People’s Liberation Army. Read the full story here:FT.com


Whilst much Western attention has been focussed on Vladimir Putin China has emerged as a much greater threat to the security not alone of the US but also of Western Europe. The implications of this cyber attack if true are frightening. China has engaged in military exercises with Russia and is rapidly building up its Pacific fleet. China's military buildup includes new missiles and naval weapons designed to sink U.S. aircraft carriers and deny U.S. forces access to the Asia-Pacific region. It has threatened to invade Taiwan. It is also active in Africa and is largely responsible for the crisis in Darfur. It is pouring billions of dollars in aid into Africa. It is engaged in natural resource exploitation not alone in Africa but even in the Australian Desert and Amazonia. If China stays on the same economic track, it would become the world's largest economy in 2027, surpassing the United States, according to Goldman, Sachs & Co., a Wall Street investment bank.

China has threatened to use its $1.33 trillion (£658bn) of foreign reserves as a political weapon to counter pressure from the US Congress. In essence it is prepared to trigger a dollar crash. This act of political lunacy would cripple the Chinese economy as exports to the US would dry up.

Perhaps it is time for the EU and the US to develop stronger ties with Russia to counter the growing Chinese threat.

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