China seeks to become cyber power for regime control

China is seeking to become a world cyber power as a means to maintain Communist Party rule over the world’s most population state. 
 
According to a report in the state-run monthly journal of the Communist Party Central Committee, Quishi Online, Chinese Party leader Xi Jinping in February outlined China’s strategic goal of making China into world cyber power. 
  Xi is head of the Party’s Central Leading Group for Cyber Security and Informatization, the central power behind the push for cyber controls. 
 
China boasts some 500 million Internet users and Beijing has taken both active and passive measures to try and control the Internet, through a combination of human and technical censorship and crackdowns on online discussion. 
 
Cyber security in Chinese Communist Party parlance translates into controlling the Internet more than in the western concept of protecting against malicious cyber attacks. 
 
“Cyber security and informatization affect a country’s development in areas such as politics, economics, culture, society, military, and national security as well as overall social stability,” the report said. “It has become an important part of the competition for competitiveness among world countries and the latest indicator for overall national strength.” 
 
China is seeking to bolster what it calls “informatizatization” to create a “cyber powerhouse.” Inherent in reaching that goal is using cyber forces to maintain internal control and rule by the dictatorial Communist Party. 
 
“Only when we keep a firm grip on control, support positive dynamics, and plan, respond, and act according to specific situations, will it be possible to thoroughly address issues concerning China’s Internet security and development, truly establish a trend of long-term stability, and accomplish the cause of long-term rule,” the May 1 report said. 
 
Xi directed Party controllers to “grasp online public opinion work as the top priority of propaganda and ideological work” and said the Party must control online public discourse. 
 
The report denounced what it termed U.S. domination of the Internet and said Washington uses the Internet to interfere with online sovereignty. 
 
U.S. and western countries “have tried in vain to fundamentally weaken our legal and legitimate control of our cyber space,” the report said. 
 
The report said China’s ability to innovate on information technology is poor. 
 

Flash//CRITIC Cyber Threat News
May 11, 2014

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