More on China and Information Warfare

This is my post to LinkedIn’s "Operation Aurora - Cyberconflict Research" group.

It might be just me, but today’s outcry over China’s unflinching and shameless use of corporate espionage reminds me of Japan’s rise as an industrial and later post-industrial power. Sure, the tools have changed, the scope may have changed slightly, but the intent is the same. And yet Japan, despite their recent history as a hegemon and their long history of inward-looking empire, has not threatened the world as much as the scaremongers of the 50’s (industrial espionage) to 80’s (financial domination) would have you believe. And let’s not forget that our wonderful nation-states still spy on each other. There’s no love lost in the West. China is the current whipping-boy because it’s easy to scare people into compliance when the bogeyman is far and different. But China also knows that their future is tightly bound to the West’s. The economic might that it wields is only possible due to excess spending in the West. Take that away and China cannot sustain its growth. And if (when) the economic engine starts to sputter the peasants will revolt. And that is what the Chinese leadership fears. And for a good reason.

All the theatrics at the outside world are just that: theatrics for internal consumption. Chinese leadership is facing a legitimacy issue. The princelings are fighting amongst themselves and vying for a good place in the government based on their fathers’ work and position. Remember that after most strong kings a weak one followed.