Chinese military adopts new rules against cybersecurity risks

By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2020/2/19 18:22:42

A transport aircraft of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force arrives at Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 17, 2020. (Xinhua/Li He)

The Chinese military will adopt a new regulation on confidentiality in a move to better manage cybersecurity risks amid the increasingly intense strategic games between China and the US, experts said on Wednesday.

President Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, recently signed an order to publish the new military confidentiality regulation, which will come into force on March 1, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily reported on Wednesday.

The regulation will provide a strong basis for military development, reform and preparations for military struggle, the report said.

It aims to effectively deal with the current grim situation in confidentiality work, use innovations in management of carriers of military secrets and focus on the confidentiality of information network systems and smart electronic devices, according to the report.

Cybersecurity has become an urgent issue for the Chinese military, since some electronic information facilities remain relatively vulnerable and may cause leaks of secrets if not used with caution, Li Daguang, a professor at the National Defense University of the PLA in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday, noting that some hardware and components are imported and may have backdoor programs.

"The confidentiality work of the military, particularly in terms of cybersecurity, is very important at a time when China and the US are in the midst of increasingly intense strategic games," Li said.

The US government and relevant departments have engaged in large-scale, organized and indiscriminate cyber theft, tapping and surveillance of foreign governments, businesses and individuals, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang at a daily briefing on Monday.

Most cyberattacks against Chinese networks in 2018 came from the US, according to a report by China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team published in June 2019.

Military secrets, including strategic and tactical deployments, weapons and equipment development plans and personnel information, are crucial and should never be leaked by any means, analysts said.

The regulation also aims to tackle dilemmas in confidentiality work by reshaping management mechanisms, standardizing the designating and rescinding of secrets and optimizing education measures on secret-related personnel, the PLA Daily reported.

Li said that while confidentiality work is crucial, some people have used it as a bureaucratic excuse to work passively.

They might cite the risk of leaking a secret and facing penalties to refuse to do practical work that not necessarily involves any secrets, Li said, noting that the new regulation will allow people to actively solve problems.

The regulation will also enhance confidentiality work in key fields including major military events, publicity work, military-civilian integration, international military cooperation and weapons and equipment, the PLA Daily said.



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