Inside the Ring: Obama, Romney on China

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The Obama administration declined to sell the island nation advanced F-16 jet fighters amid fears of upsetting military ties with Beijing, which claims Taiwan as part of China.

Mr. Romney also would confront China on its human rights abuses, something the campaign policy statement asserts the Obama administration has failed to do.

“If the United States fails to support dissidents out of fear of offending the Chinese government, we will merely embolden China’s leaders,” the Romney campaign said.

China cyberthreats

A report by an Asian-oriented think tank warns that China is engaged in major cyberwarfare and cyberespionage operations that threaten U.S. national security and require a coordinated U.S. response.

The report by the Project 2049 Institute says “the cyber domain is emerging as a new dimension in conflicts of the future.”

Based on Beijing’s political insecurities and its drive for total information awareness, China’s ruling Communist Party, state authorities and the People’s Liberation Army are “waging a coordinated [computer network operations] campaign against a broad range of international targets,” the report says.

“Chinese cyber espionage poses an advanced persistent threat to U.S. national and economic security.

“Groups operating from [Chinese] territory are believed to be waging a coordinated cyber espionage campaign targeting U.S. government, industrial and think-tank computer networks.”

A dozen groups were identified and connected to the Chinese military. The most active ones operate from Beijing and Shanghai.

Victims of the cyberattacks in the United States include U.S. government networks, the defense industry, high-technology and energy companies, think-tanks and other nongovernmental organizations, media outlets and academic institutions.

The report identified the military’s General Staff Department Third Department as the main source, and said one unit in particular, the Beijing North Computing Center, is the Chinese equivalent of the Pentagon’s new U.S. Cyber Command.

The report concludes: “Countering a coordinated cyber-reconnaissance campaign requires reducing the value of information through thoughtful deception, enhanced counterintelligence, greater cooperation with international partners such as Taiwan, and imposing costs through effective deterrence.”

McKeon presses Obama

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, on Monday wrote to President Obama to press the White House on his recent requests for information about the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

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About the Author
Bill Gertz

Bill Gertz

Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.

He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.

Mr. ...

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