Pentagon recently released a report that puts China at the center of everything including its territorial and electronic warfare ambitions. Beijing, however, denounces such allegations saying that its military operations in the East and the South China Sea have been misinterpreted. Who is telling the truth?
According to the Pentagon report, Beijing launched cyber probes on U.S. computer networks in the name of intelligence collection and electronic warfare despite its already expanding long-range precision strike capabilities.
“China is using its cyber capabilities to support intelligence collection against the U.S. diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial base sectors that support U.S. national defense programs,” claimed the Defense Department in its annual report released on May 13.
Pentagon also noted that China has been focusing on the enhancement of its cyber capabilities against a “stronger foe.” Additionally, the report said that what the hackers encountered “could inform Chinese military planners’ work to build a picture of U.S. defense networks, logistics, and related military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis.”
“The accesses and skills required for these intrusions are similar to those necessary to conduct cyber attacks,” the Pentagon report added.
This information came to light as China’s increased efforts in the South China Sea is very evident, resulting into heightened frictions among different nations. According to the report, the militarization activities are at an alarming rate which gives China a strategic position when it comes to claiming regions in the disputed area.
“Although artificial islands do not provide China with any additional territorial or maritime rights within the South China Sea, China will be able to use its reclaimed features as persistent civil-military bases to enhance its presence in the South China Sea significantly and enhance China’s ability to control the features and nearby maritime space,” it said.
China, on the other hand, denounced the report according to Bloomberg. Spokesman Yang Yujun said that the Pentagon report is “deliberately distorted” and looks at China’s defense policy and legitimate actions in a different way.