News / Asia

    US Pressure on China Over Hacking to Remain

    The building housing “Unit 61398” of the People’s Liberation Army is seen in the outskirts of Shanghai, February 19, 2013.
    The building housing “Unit 61398” of the People’s Liberation Army is seen in the outskirts of Shanghai, February 19, 2013.
    VOA News
    Analysts say the recent leaks exposing top-secret U.S. surveillance programs may benefit China temporarily, but will not likely sway Washington from putting more pressure on Beijing to stop alleged Chinese cyber hacking against U.S. targets.

    The leaks by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden came at an opportune time for China, just before U.S. President Barack Obama planned to prominently raise the issue of Chinese cyber hacking during a summit in California.

    The original documents leaked by Snowden had little to do with China.  They detailed a pair of classified domestic surveillance programs by the U.S. National Security Agency, under which authorities collected and monitored phone records and Internet usage.

    A copy of the South China Morning Post newspaper, carrying an interview with Edward Snowden, on a newspaper in Hong Kong, June 13, 2013.A copy of the South China Morning Post newspaper, carrying an interview with Edward Snowden, on a newspaper in Hong Kong, June 13, 2013.
    x
    A copy of the South China Morning Post newspaper, carrying an interview with Edward Snowden, on a newspaper in Hong Kong, June 13, 2013.
    A copy of the South China Morning Post newspaper, carrying an interview with Edward Snowden, on a newspaper in Hong Kong, June 13, 2013.
    Subsequent leaks by Snowden, who has fled to Hong Kong to fight extradition, revealed the NSA has been secretly spying on Chinese targets for years.  That accusation prompted an angry reaction from China's state-controlled media.

    The Communist Party-controlled Global Times newspaper on Monday published an editorial calling for Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous sovereign territory of China, to not extradite Snowden.

    It also praised him as a hero who exposed the U.S. government's "violation of civil rights."

    The Global Times, which often expresses official viewpoints, has also called for Beijing officials to meet directly with Snowden in order to obtain more intelligence information that could be used during future negotiations with the United States.

    Such comments suggest China will use Snowden's information to deflect diplomatic pressure from Washington, which has attempted to hold China accountable for a series of high-profile cyber hacking attempts originating from its soil.

    But there is not yet any evidence that Snowden has directly provided sensitive intelligence to Chinese officials.  In a question-and-answer session in The Guardian newspaper on Monday, Snowden denied having had any contact with the Chinese government.  

    Jeffrey Reeves with Hawaii's Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies says that such assurances have done little to calm the fears of U.S. intelligence officials, since Snowden has promised to reveal more information in the coming days.

    "I think absolutely there is a lot of concern from the FBI now that's investigating how much access he actually had," he said.  "And people from the NSA are very concerned that he could potentially have quite damaging information."

    But Steven Lewis, a China scholar with Houston's Rice University, said it is unlikely Snowden is in direct contact with the Chinese government, given its official reaction.

    "If he was actually being run as a spy, and it was viewed as an exceptionally sensitive thing by the Chinese government, I do not think the Global Times would be allowed to speculate on that issue," he said.

    Lewis says the leaks may have embarrassed the United States and made it more difficult for Obama to raise the issue of cyber attacks during his talks with Xi.  But he doubts whether it will hamper U.S. efforts to raise the issue in the future.

    William Martel, a professor of international security studies at Boston's Tufts University, agrees. He says that the United States will have no problem keeping up the pressure, as long as allegations of widespread Chinese cyber hacking continue to appear in the headlines.

    "I think it takes a little pressure off China at this point, but long-term, if in fact, as many allege, that China has been engaging in cyber spying and hacking, the pressure and scrutiny will continue," he said.

    President Obama echoed that sentiment in an interview that aired Monday on "The Charlie Rose Show" on PBS television. Obama said the Chinese have understood his "very blunt" message that cyber attacks have the potential to "adversely affect the fundamentals of the U.S.-China relationship."

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Walter Panella from: SFO
    June 18, 2013 7:24 PM
    If ever there is a thick skinned attitude. US has a god given right to spy and no one else ? Besides that , the good hackers are always at internet cafe . Only US is not smart enough to know that.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora