OPINION / VIEWPOINT
West’s accusations can’t be taken seriously as they present no evidence of ‘China cyber espionage’
Published: Jul 23, 2021 06:05 PM
Cybersecurity. Photo: VCG

Cybersecurity. Photo: VCG

The Chinese government gave a befitting reply to its Western counterparts from the EU and NATO who recently accused China of carrying out far-reaching cyber espionage activities. The Chinese Mission in the EU struck back by calling them out for being the ones who've done exactly what they claim China's guilty of. The Mission also shared details about the many such attacks that China has thwarted in the past. The message is simple but nevertheless one that the Western public should urgently become more aware that it's Western governments that are gaslighting the world about cyber espionage. 

This trend first began to take off during the rule of former US president Donald Trump. His administration accused China of spying on the world through Huawei and other tech companies. Not once did he or his country's allies present even a single shred of evidence to back up this claim. All that they did was introduce a weaponized information warfare narrative into the global discourse, after which they expected it to naturally propagate and self-replicate. The end effect that they desired was that China's dozens of partners across the world would replace Chinese companies with costlier and less effective Western competitors. 

The latest accusations against China are slightly different since they revived the similarly debunked information warfare narrative that the country occasionally goes on cyber espionage offensives against highly sensitive targets. The purpose in pushing this particular angle of propaganda is to scare the Western public into supporting larger budgets for their own government's supposed "cyber security" programs. In reality, those said programs are dishonestly described since they're really fronts for the same cyber espionage operations that they accuse China of. 

It might sound confusing and twisted, but that's the reality of the shadowy intelligence world where the truth is often the opposite of whatever is being said in public. In this context, China is actually the victim, not the villain, while Western governments are the real villains, not the victims that they present themselves as. The only reason why this game is unfolding in the open is because the Western public needs to be indoctrinated with a false explanation for why more of their hard-earned taxes are being redirected toward cyber espionage programs that unconvincingly masquerade as "cyber security" ones instead of healthcare and infrastructure. 

The military-industrial complex has evolved to the point where it now includes a technological component whose lobbyists are competing with the others for finite public funds. China is the most politically convenient target for them each to attack in this shadowy competition since the narrative has already been established in the public's consciousness that the country purportedly poses the greatest-ever threat to the West. Russia used to be the primary villain in their mind but that's gradually changing as a result of last month's Geneva Summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden which de-escalated mutual tensions. 

Although Moscow is still ridiculously blamed for a lot of things, including those that never happened such as Putin supposedly exploiting Trump as his puppet, the overall trend is that Beijing is replacing it as the West's top enemy. This was clearly hinted at during the EU and NATO Summits that Biden participated last month. China is more easily conceived of as a so-called threat to the West than Russia is since China has one of the world's top economies and was the first to successfully recover from the global crisis catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The cyber domain is becoming increasingly important in everyday life, especially with the impending advent of what some have described as the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" that will pave the way for the "Internet of Things" where practically everything will be connected to the internet in one way or another. The West sees an unprecedented intelligence collection opportunity, but only if it can convince or pressure others to abandon their Chinese tech partners and replace them with their own. The most manipulative way to achieve this is to dishonestly claim without evidence that the Chinese are spying on them. 

The truth, as was earlier mentioned, is that it's actually the West that's already spying on everyone, including its own people. If there was any evidence that China was guilty of this, the West would have already presented it years ago during the height of Trump's trade war. That never happened because no such evidence exists. Nor, for that matter, did the US' intelligence community want to risk publishing manufactured evidence since it knew that independent experts would quickly expose it as fraudulent, thereby further harming Western governments' already terrible reputation with the rest of the world and among their own people. 

The key takeaway from all of this is that Western governments gaslight the world about cyber espionage. They can't be taken seriously after they've accused China of this for years but have yet to present even a single shred of evidence to this end, even manufactured evidence. Anytime anyone hears such accusations, they should immediately realize that the West is talking about itself lying in order to manipulate its own people for the purpose of getting them to approve of more of their taxes being diverted to cyber espionage operations under the cover of "cyber security."

The author is a Moscow-based American political analyst. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn
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