U.S. counterintelligence officials are skeptical that China has complied with its promises to stop spying on the United States.
U.S. counterintelligence chief Bill Evanina told a briefing on Wednesday that he has seen “no indication” that “anything has changed” when it comes to China’s espionage on the U.S., according to Reuters.
Evanina added that 90% of U.S. private sector and government data cyberattacks are carried out with “spear-phishing,” which played a crucial role in the large-scale breach of security clearance data from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in July 2015.
But Evanina said he that as far as he knew, no parties had so far tried to use personal data hacked from OPM for malicious purposes. U.S. officials and cybersecurity investigators have repeatedly linked the OPM hack to the Chinese government.
The comments come two weeks ahead of scheduled ministerial-level talks between the United States and China on December 1-2 about an anti-hacking deal signed between the two nations in September during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s official state visit to Washington.
The accord included promises that neither of the two nations would conduct hacking or espionage for commercial advantage. The G-20 vowed to comply with a similar set of cybersecurity rules earlier this week.
Evanina is the head of a branch of the U.S. National Intelligence Director’s Office called the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, which published the 2016 National Counterintelligence Strategy plan on Wednesday of this week.
U.S. should “hack back” China – report
In the National Counterintelligence Strategy plan, the U.S. is advised to allow American companies to “hack back” the Chinese if data proves to be stolen by Beijing, according to the BBC.
Data lost in such cyberattacks could be recovered or wiped, as suggested in a report from the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The report indicates that lost sales and recovering from hacking damages have cost American companies tens of billions of dollars, while trade secrets have been given to Chinese firms.
The report also says that the current America’s response to cyberattacks on domestic firms is “inadequate,” adding that the U.S. is “ill-prepared” to defend itself from China’s hacking and cyber espionage.
“The Chinese government appears to believe that it has more to gain than to lose from its cyber-espionage and attack campaign,” says the report, according to the BBC.
“So far, it has acquired valuable technology, trade secrets, and intelligence. The costs imposed have been minimal compared to the perceived benefit. The campaign is likely to continue and may well escalate,” the report reads.
Beijing has repeatedly denied any involvement in cyberattacks against the U.S., including the data hack that affected about 22 million of Americans both inside and outside the government.
Shortly after the OPM data breach, it was reported that the Obama administration was preparing to hit back at the Chinese.
Imminent demise of the American empire
The imminent demise of the American empire, and its subsequent replacement by China, has been recently predicted by two U.S. analysts, according to Huffington Post.
One of the analysts is historian Alfred McCoy of the University of Wisconsin, and the other is investigative journalist Barry Lynn of New America.
In his newly published ‘The Geopolitics of American Global Decline: Washington Versus China in the Twenty-First Century’, McCoy outlines China’s strategy to tear through the encircling ring of U.S. bases to reach and directly control its markets and resources.
There have been already indications of China seeking to assert dominance in Asia by claiming the South China Sea. China has built artificial islands and has been dredging landfill to create airbases there. Moreover, the Chinese demanded that U.S. and its allies’ aircraft and ships must obtain Chinese permission before entering the disputed area.
However, that’s on the eastern end of the disputed area. According to Huffington Post, McCoy presented maps that show Beijing’s large-scale investments in infrastructure to link up overland across the rest of China.
With U.S. railroads and bridges crumbling and needing repair, China is building a major internal network of sophisticated high-speed railroads along with oil and gas pipelines.
China can overtake the U.S.
The second analyst, Barry Lynn, has been writing on the growing power and weaknesses of multinational monopolies.
“The power is more obvious: higher prices, less choice, less innovation — and greater political influence. The weakness is less obvious: less investment, fewer jobs, lower wages, and restriction of manufacturing to dependence on a small number of cheap, mostly foreign suppliers,” as reported by Huffington Post, citing Lynn.
And that’s where China can overtake the U.S., according to Lynn in his “The New China Syndrome: American Business Meets Its New Master’. Multinational businesses such as car and computer companies largely depend on China both in terms of cheap manufacturing and access to the massive Chinese consumer market.
Lynn cites a number of examples where China has intimidated multinationals into concessions on price, ownership shares, or jobs for children of Chinese leaders.
So while Alfred McCoy suggests that Chinese infrastructure investment and joint ventures in foreign countries increasingly put pressure on U.S. dominance from the outside, Barry Lynn suggests that Chinese control of multinational corporations poses a great threat to U.S. power from the inside.
After the collapse of the British Empire in the World War I, it staggered on a few more years as a zombie agent of the growing American empire, according to the Huffington Post.
“That empire may in turn stagger on as the zombie agent, not of a western democracy, but of a giant nation contemptuous of our values — and with thousands of years’ experience managing empires,” the news source wrote.