China’s Cyber Aggression: Biden’s Call for Clarity and Accountability

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A terrifying threat of cyberwarfare materializes against the backdrop of growing tensions between the US and China.

Recent reports have shed light on China’s calculated strategies, revealing a disconcerting readiness to exploit vulnerabilities in American infrastructure should conflict erupt, posing a threat to national security and public well-being.

The prospect of war, particularly regarding Taiwan and the Philippines, accentuates concerns regarding China’s asymmetric approach to warfare. Beijing seems poised to leverage a distinct advantage of less dependence on public opinion compared to its democratic counterparts. 

Beijing’s strategy appears twofold: exert minimal regard for the sentiments of its populace while attempting to sway U.S. public sentiment in favor of favorable terms for China in case of hostilities.

A disconcerting revelation comes in the form of reported cyber intrusions by hackers linked to China’s People’s Liberation Army, infiltrating nearly two dozen critical infrastructure entities this year. 

These incursions, attributed to a unit termed Volt Typhoon, target key systems encompassing water utilities, ports, and oil pipelines. This calculated probing seeks to sow division and panic within the United States, presumably to manipulate public opinion during potential military actions in Taiwan or the Philippines.

China’s Intentions and Military Cyber Readiness

china's-cyber-aggression-biden's-call-for-clarity-and-accountability
A terrifying threat of cyberwarfare materializes against the backdrop of growing tensions between the US and China.

The insidious scope of Volt Typhoon’s activities encompasses a wide spectrum of sectors, spanning communications, manufacturing, utilities, transportation, and more, with a particular emphasis on US Pacific-facing interests. 

Such targeting not only underscores China’s military cyber preparedness but also indicates a readiness to impact civilian life, indicative of an intent to expedite conflict resolution in China’s favor.

As President Joe Biden confronts this strategic threat, a resolute response becomes imperative. Previous responses to cyber threats, such as the Colonial Pipeline hack, have been deemed insufficient, signaling potential vulnerabilities in America’s cyber defense strategy. 

Biden’s response to the Colonial Pipeline incident was criticized for its passivity, failing to robustly counter the attack, which was traced back to Russian cybercriminals. This tepid reaction might have implications for China’s perception of the U.S.’s readiness to retaliate against cyber intrusions.

The urgency of fortifying cyber defenses and establishing robust deterrence measures against potential attacks is evident. 

Failure to respond decisively to such threats risks emboldening adversaries and imperiling national security, compelling a reevaluation of America’s cyber defense strategy in an increasingly fraught global landscape.

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