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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid