In recent weeks the Chinese government has delivered strong messages about internet sovereignty to both international and domestic audiences. Despite confirming its commitment to working with the rest of the international community “to create a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyber space”, Beijing has given every indication that it regards recent acts of US cyber-aggression as signaling the onset of a new internet-based cold war.
Early in June, the Chinese foreign ministry and the UN Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific co-hosted the International Workshop on Information and Cyber Security in Beijing. In his opening address in front of international media and representatives of 20 nations and international organizations, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong launched a blistering attack on the US for turning the internet into a new great power battlespace.
Minister Li condemned the massive-scale surveillance activities by an “individual country”, which have “severely infringed on other countries’ sovereignty and their citizen’s privacy”. “Instead of reflecting on its behaviors that undermine the sovereignty of other countries and privacy of citizens”, alleged Minister Li, “it has painted itself as a victim and made groundless accusations against or defamed other countries”… read on at the DiploFoundation
Big data… big appetite. Getting ahead by any means… the survival instinct written in the DNA of nation-states. Image: Headquarters of the NSA at Fort Meade, Maryland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In a recent opinion piece in The Guardian, Professor John Naughton of the Open university argues that the biggest story to come out of the Snowden NSA revelations is that the days of the internet as a truly global network are numbered.
“It was always a possibility that the system would eventually be Balkanised, i.e. divided into a number of geographical or jurisdiction-determined subnets as societies such as China, Russia, Iran and other Islamic states decided that they needed to control how their citizens communicated”, writes Naughton. “Now, Balkanisation is a certainty”.
But is Balkanisation the big deal here? Do the NSA revelations actually change anything? Read more of this piece at DiploFoundation…
In Part 1 of this blogpost I highlighted the ironies – or as one Chinese general put it, the ‘hypocritical behavior’ – that the Chinese press has identified in relation to US cyber espionage in the wake of the Snowden revelations. In particular, the revelations suggest that ‘state capitalism’, or the government use of the private sector to achieve national interests, is a model as applicable to the USA as it is to China. I would suggest, however, that in all this there exists a still deeper irony that may be seen through the prism of the ‘Chinese dream’ – the much-hyped propaganda buzz term introduced last November by Chinese president Xi Jinping… read the rest of this post at Diplo Foundation…
Peering through tower ruins along China’s Great Wall (Photo credit: rvw)
On the back of the Snowden affair, international commentary is now questioning whether there is any real difference at all between Washington and Beijing in relation to individual privacy, online freedoms and intellectual property theft. With media coverage on the issue still thick and sickly sweet, the Snowden affair has been described as a propaganda coup for China and ‘the gift that keeps giving’… This post is published in full on the Diplo Foundation website