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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs