The CSS Blog Network

What Are China’s Cyber Capabilities and Intentions?

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This article was originally published by the IPI Global Observatory on 22 March 2019.

News stories on the cyber threat that China poses appear on a regular basis. Most underscore a view that China is using cyber power to rise and ultimately win global dominance, and that the Chinese government is behind the scenes in many malicious cyber activities. Though many of the allegations focus on the tension between China and the United States on cyber espionage, these actions are unlikely to cause armed conflict since almost all capable actors conduct cyber espionage.

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Huawei and 5G: What Are the Alternatives?

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This article was originally published in The Strategist by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) on 8 March 2019.

Speaking about his politically embattled company’s chances to build national 5G networks, Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei recently told the BBC, ‘If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine. And if the North goes dark, there is still the South.’

He’s right. Unless something changes in the near future, Huawei is going to win the fight for 5G in the developing world.

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Why China is Not about to Catch Up with US Military Technology Just Yet

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This article was originally published by ETH News on 26 February 2019.

Is China about to catch up with the US, the world’s leading military and geopolitical power? Researchers at ETH’s Center for Security Studies and NATO’s Defense College say no. The growing complexity of military technology makes it difficult for modern weapon systems to be imitated.

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The US Shouldn’t Go to War with China over Taiwan—and Nor Should Australia

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This article was originally published in The Strategist by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on 13 February 2019.

Paul Dibb, in his recent Strategist post, writes that America’s strategic position in Asia would be fatally undermined if it didn’t go to war with China if China attacked Taiwan, and that Australia’s alliance with America would be fatally undermined if we didn’t then go to war with China too. The conclusion he draws is that, in the event of an unprovoked Chinese attack on Taiwan, America should go to war with China, and so should Australia.

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What is Europe’s Place in Sino-American Competition?

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Image courtesy of Stuart Chalmers/Flickr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 14 February 2019.

In a recent speech in Hungary, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Europeans that using technology from Chinese telecommunications manufacturer Huawei could hurt their relationship with the United States. This warning follows a series of high-profile arm wrestling involving the U.S. government, Huawei, and countries like Canada and Australia. The Huawei saga has come to encapsulate a broader concern: Current efforts by Chinese state-led companies to access — and eventually dominate — global markets in key technologies, such as 5G or artificial intelligence, raise a number of privacy and competition-related questions. China’s disinterest in Western standards, coupled with lack of reciprocity and other barriers to foreign companies operating in the Chinese market, makes these challenges even more acute. As argued by other U.S. officials, the lack of a level playing field ultimately means that China could leverage global supply chains and infrastructure nodes and “game” the current international order against American power. In order to forestall this risk, the United States will need to work with allies. And the advanced economies of Western Europe and East Asia are particularly critical.

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