Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Caucus Brief: China's Cyberassault On America

CHINA'S CYBERASSAULT ON AMERICA.  In a WSJ op-ed, former national security official Richard Clarke argues that the U.S. government is not doing enough to protect against Chinese cyber attacks.  From the piece: "the administration is ignoring its primary responsibility to protect its own citizens when they are targeted for harm by a foreign government.  Senior U.S. officials know well that the government of China is systematically attacking the computer networks of the U.S. government and American corporations.  Beijing is successfully stealing research and development, software source code, manufacturing know how and government plans.  In a global competition among knowledge-based economies, Chinese cyberoperations are eroding America's advantage."

U.S. SENATORS SLAM CHINA ON MILITARY PARTS PROBE.  Senators Carl Levin and John McCain, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, have accused China of hampering a congressional probe into how counterfeit electronics end up in the U.S. military supply chain.  According to the Senators, China has stalled providing visas to congressional staffers trying to visit cities in China that are considered the hub of the counterfeit electronics trade.  Additionally, the Chinese government has so far required that any interviews conducted in China as part of the investigation must include a government representative, a non-starter for Senators Levin and McCain.

CHINA WARNS AGAINST MEDDLING IN S. CHINA SEA.  China's foreign ministry has announced that China will seek to resolve the region's longstanding territorial disputes with its neighbors bilaterally.  This statement came after the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines pledged support for the Philippines "on all sectors," leading some to believe that China's statements, while not specifically mentioning the U.S., were aimed towards the West.  A U.S. embassy spokesman in Beijing classified the U.S. diplomatic approach to the dispute as reflecting the shared interests of the U.S. and its allies in the region.

CHINA 'WILL NOT USE FORCE' IN SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTES.  Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said yesterday that China "will not resort to the use of force or the threat of force," and urged those involved to "do more that is beneficial to regional peace and stability."


CHINA STAMPS OUT SOUTHERN RIOTS.  Chinese police have seemingly halted the protests in Southern China by deploying thousands of riot police armed with tear gas and shotguns.  The WSJ reports that the unrest could flare up again if authorities do not address the concerns of migrant workers.  These protests first began after police abused a pregnant migrant street vendor only days after a police in another region killed a popular local official while he was in custody.


COLUMBIA ADVANCES TRADE PACT.  Columbian lawmakers have passed legislation intended to foster increased trade with China, as the U.S. Congress stalls the pending U.S. trade deal with Columbia.  From the WSJ piece: "Trade officials in Bogota expressed frustration with the slow pace of progress in Washington, which they say contrasts with Chinese eagerness to invest in Columbia, Washington's closest ally in South America."

LEAD POISONING IN CHINA SICKENS THOUSANDS.  In recent months, case after case of mass lead poisoning have been discovered across China.  The NYT reports that many of the victims are children, as China's manufacturing sector and government have overlooked environmental contamination in search of expanding economic development.  The most recent lead poisoning case involves 239 adults and 99 children being poisoned by a nearby battery factory.  

The Caucus Brief is a daily publication for Members of Congress and Hill Staffers on China news and information compiled by the office of Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder of the Congressional China Caucus.  Email with tips, comments, or to subscribe/unsubscribe.

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