China’s Continued Rise Hinges on Information Control
In November 2021, the U.S.-China Economic Security Review Commission published its annual report to Congress. The Commission addressed several key areas in the report including the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ambitions in the wake of its centennial; its technological and economic aspirations; China’s growing influence in Latin America; Beijing’s increasing control over its corporate sector; China’s military capabilities, among other topics. One of these included China’s burgeoning use of its cyber capabilities as a state tool supporting its political, military, and economic well-being.
The use of cyber capabilities to conduct disruptive and destructive attacks looms large in Western thought, and Beijing is no different, as evidenced in their writings, in which they see cyber-attacks as both a complementary facet of kinetic attacks as well as an independent force to achieve specific objectives. The Commission’s report highlights cyber capabilities as part of China’s strategy to reclaim Taiwan via coercive measures. Indeed, several Chinese authoritative sources cite the capability of cyber as an instrumental weapon, especially when harmonized with other capabilities.
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