News / Asia

Analysts: Hacking Charges Won't Lead to US-China Trade War

FILE - John Bumgarner, a cyber warfare expert who is chief technology officer of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, a non-profit group that studies the impact of cyber threats, holds a notebook computer while posing for a portrait in Charlotte.
FILE - John Bumgarner, a cyber warfare expert who is chief technology officer of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, a non-profit group that studies the impact of cyber threats, holds a notebook computer while posing for a portrait in Charlotte.
Cyber espionage charges by the U.S. against five Chinese military officers will complicate Washington's relationship with Beijing, but analysts do not expect it to result in a trade war or wider disruption of ties.

The U.S. on Monday accused the People's Liberation Army officers of hacking into and stealing trade secrets from the computers of several large American nuclear, metal and solar companies.

The move represents a bold change in tactic by the Obama administration, which has long complained of alleged Chinese cyber theft that is said to have cost U.S. companies billions of dollars.

China reacted quickly and furiously, denying the charges as "made up" and telling U.S. Ambassador Max Baucus on Tuesday that the case has "seriously harmed" the U.S.-China relationship.

Kerry Brown, who heads the University of Sydney's China Studies Center, told VOA the dispute over hacking has become a significant irritant to bilateral ties. But he expects the fallout to be limited.

"I think that it's going to be a contentious issue, but I don't think we're going to get an issue of having an all-out trade war or even beyond that an actual conflict over some of the other political issues they have at the moment," Brown said.

So far, the only concrete response by China has been to pull out of a regular discussion with the U.S. on cyber theft, though Beijing has hinted more moves may be coming.

A Chinese official quoted anonymously Tuesday in the state-run People's Daily threatened Beijing will "take measures to resolutely fight back" if the U.S. continues "going on its own way."

Brown, a former British diplomat, said Beijing could decide to target U.S. companies in China in response. "China will feel very contained and threatened by this and it may well up the ante by basically picking on those companies that have very big activities and very big interests in China," he said.

One possibility is that Beijing could target U.S. businessmen, much like when it charged a British executive with the London-based GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical giant on bribery charges last week.

But Steve Tsang, the director of the China Policy Institute at Britain's University of Nottingham, said any retaliation will take into consideration the level of inter-dependence between the world's two largest economies.

"It is the single most important relationship in the world today. It is extremely important to China, as it is to the United States," said Tsang. "Neither government would want to put that relationship at risk and I don't think we're going to see as a result of this any forthcoming trade war between the two countries or anything like that."

The U.S. has long said Chinese cyber theft has hurt American companies' competitiveness on the global market and costs American workers jobs.

But until recent months, Washington officials had been reluctant to directly accuse the Chinese military of involvement in the hacking.

In making the announcement Monday, U.S. officials said negotiations and dialogue had failed to fix the problem and that a new tactic is necessary.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid