The issue of cyber war and cyberspace espionage is featured heavily in the drafts of the 12th Five-Year Plan, which is being drafted by the government and the People’s Liberation Army.
Hu Jintao, president and commander-in-chief of the People’s Republic of China, has said offensive and defensive capabilities in cyberspace is a top priority within the next decade. The new impetus behind expanding the Chinese capabilities in cyberspace stem from two major considerations. The first is a desire to catch up to the U.S. capabilities, who is widely seen to have the greatest range of capabilities in cyberspace.
Professor Fang Binxing, president of the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications said, “The U.S. is without question the world’s foremost power in cyber-based attacks and defense.”
“The U.S. holds absolute superiority in conventional and outer space as well as cyberspace,” Fang said.
Tensions between the United States and China over operations in cyberspace have grown in recent months. In January, search engine giant Google revealed it had come under cyber attack by hackers based in China. Additionally, attempted attacks against government contracting firms appeared to emanate from China, as well.