US enlisting allies to smear China only exposes diffidence: Global Times editorial
Published: Jul 20, 2021 12:26 AM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

On Monday, the US and a coalition of allies accused China of a global cyber hacking campaign that employed contract hackers, Reuters reported. It also said the attacks aimed at dozens of companies, universities and government agencies in the US and abroad, even extorted businesses for financial gain.  

On the same day, US federal agencies, including the National Security Council, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency, outlined more than 50 techniques and procedures that "China state-sponsored actors" use in targeting US networks. NBC News said, "The move marks a significant escalation in a decade-long effort by the US to grapple with Chinese government hacking." It highlights a new direction of the US' conflict with China.

A US official even threatened on Sunday that "We [the US and its allies] are not ruling out further action to hold the PRC [China] accountable."

Washington has repeatedly said that the US is under constant cyber attacks. This time, it has roped in its allies in the joint accusation, in a bid to amplify its momentum. It directly named China's Ministry of State Security. It is well known that the security departments of any country are sensitive and confidential. It is impossible to prove its innocence by showing its internal working mechanisms. The US intends to put China in a disadvantageous situation, and China is unable to argue. This will make US's accusations look more like "true."

However, the so-called the Chinese government hiring hackers "to conduct unsanctioned cyber operations globally" is a huge lie. Such a practice cannot be carried out in China's system, and it is completely inexplicable from the perspective of motivation.

China has a strict system of accountability. The US has accused China of cyber attacks for many years. It has become a highly sensitive issue between China and the US. We have to ask: What is the motive and benefit for China to launch large-scale cyber-attacks against the US and severely hit China-US relations as the US has accused? Which piece of information or economic benefit from the US is more important than China's national reputation? 

The US even claimed that China has allowed contractor hackers to pursue their personal profit; in other words, China is willing to use its national interests to pay for the interests of those hackers and specific organizations they represent. We don't know whether the US and Western societies controlled by capital have such logic, but it is totally unthinkable in socialist China. 

The Western world is unfamiliar with China's system and cyber attacks are difficult to trace. Washington is exploiting them to frame China. Cyber attacks have happened in almost all countries and China has suffered more damage than the US. The US, the global top technology center, has blatantly set up cyber troops, but loudly accuses other countries of launching cyber attacks. How ridiculous! 

The US is stirring up new geopolitical disputes by turning cyber frictions into major conflicts among countries. It tries to constantly frame up new accusations on China together with its allies, making China a symbol of the world's "darkness." Since the US has already put labels such as "genocide" and "committed crimes against humanity" on China, any new accusation won't surprise us.

China has been working hard to build a community with a shared future for mankind. We have not been involved in war in foreign countries for a long time. Instead, China is committed to domestic economic development, rapidly improving people's livelihood, and practicing the people-centered governance philosophy. How can such a country be as dark as the US has claimed? It is a shame for the West that such a slander can widely spread in Western ideology. It shows the Western ideological system is decaying.

The slander against China has been excessive. Eventually, the US is defaming itself as a result of the slander. The US cannot exploit these smears to substantively attack China. If the US takes aggressive measures, carries out national-level cyber attacks on China, or imposes so-called sanctions on China, we will retaliate. 

There is another scenario. The vicious accusations made by Washington have almost destroyed any trust between China and the US in the field of cyberspace. Their mutual suspicion is bound to significantly increase. There will be a higher probability that both sides could misjudge that the other side is launching cyber attacks. Washington must bear responsibility for this scenario. US allies which follow the US won't benefit either.