Monday, March 5, 2012
China Has Not Been Behaving Like a Friend
This article deserves broader distribution and is a clear portrayal of what has been Chinese policy from the beginning. Unsurprisingly really, we have command economy that is using money and credit to scramble into the modern world while simultaneously uplifting a billion people out of a peon economy into been effective consumers and producers in a modern economy. Respect for rights and other legal forms we have has clearly lagged and we are now discovering some of the flagrant abuses.
Yet I see all this as an evolution and hope that it never becomes too messy. The grass roots are now beginning to assert their legitimate rights and the huge distributed oligarchy is now beginning to visibly be reined in. These same forms will be needed by the new rulers of
as their time comes to pass. China
I must admit I no longer become much exercised over massive economic abuse. Perhaps a half century provides ample perspective. I know that the genie of change is long out of the bottle and the benefits too clear for even a brilliant demagogue to ever derail it at all.
Globally the same is true. One can get angry seeing what has been done to
but even that is now aging out and wiser heads will prevail in time. The same holds true for even the likes of Zimbabwe North Korea and yes, for . Today even Iran has begun to allow
change. And that is realy it. Change means the rise of the middle class
upon all depend, including the rich. Burma
With intelligence experts saying the country turns a blind eye to the 'patriotic hackers',
needs to be cautious about cosying up Canada
BY STEPHEN HUME,
SUN FEBRUARY 27, 2012 VANCOUVER
An electronic stealth operation allegedly based in
China hacks into Nortel Networks Inc., 's
high-flying telecom superstar, loots its secrets for a decade and, says one
cyber-security expert, con-tributes to the company's fatal implosion. Canada
Queen's University professor David Skillicorn points out that after the hackers penetrated Nortel around 2000, they began stealing technical papers, research and development reports, and strategic business plans.
After that, Nortel couldn't compete for contracts "because the hackers had their technical knowledge, their financials, their bids, before they sub-mitted them," Skillicorn told Postmedia News. "How can you compete in an environment like that? These hackers weren't into Nortel just out of curiosity. They were using the stuff they got."
A Wall Street Journal report quotes Brian Shields, a 19-year Nortel veteran who led the internal investigation into the hacking. Shields apparently found spy software so deeply embedded in company computers that it took years to realize the size and pervasiveness of the problem.
There's a bigger concern. In bankruptcy, Nortel sold off assets to other major telecoms. Those assets may have included computers and routing hard-ware already infected with the same spying software.
Nortel had plenty of other serious problems. Its top executives now face charges they fraudulently misstated financial reports. Still, it's worth noting who now occupies the business landscape littered with the rubble that once was Nortel.
It's Huawei, one of the Canadian company's chief rivals from
In fact, Nortel unsuccessfully tried to buddy up with Huawei Technology Co.
Ltd. in 2005 as a way of cracking the Asian market. China
There's no suggestion Hua-wei, which rocketed from a no-name start-up in 1987 to its rank among the world's top three vendors of telecommunications equipment, had any-thing to do with Nortel's problems - internal or external - and eventual collapse.
However, there's a fascinating irony in Huawei announcing it will double the staff at the research and development centre it established in Ottawa in 2010. It plans to expand its research, development and engineering staff from 120 to 250 employees by 2013, right at the epicentre of the market crater left by Nortel.
In the meantime, there's a report from McAfee, the Inter-net security company. It reports that for five years hackers ran-sacked the computer systems of at least two Canadian government agencies. Even a fraction of the stolen data represents a massive economic threat to
, said a Reuters story about
the incursion. Once again, the electronic trail led back to Canada . China
And in 2010 a background paper prepared for Parliament warned of "an ongoing and increasingly aggressive cyber espionage campaign being waged against
and those of its allies," with one of the principal
"China's suspected cyber spying first gained public interest in 2003, when reports emerged that it was behind a massive, coordinated operation in which sensitive government and private-sector computer systems in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada had been compromised," the report said.
To point out
apparently pervasive role in the alleged theft of economic, industrial,
military and diplomatic secrets and other intellectual property is not to
indulge in Sinophobia, although apologists for are prone to characterize
such interest as a resurgence of "Yellow Peril" racism. China
So let's be clear. The Chinese Communist Party and the government it controls are neither the culture of
nor its diverse and admirable
people. To examine the activities of the Chinese state is not to denigrate the
value and richness of Chinese culture, whether in Asia or among China 's
vibrant Chinese communities. It is simply to examine what transpires in
21st-century geopolitics. Canada
And this examination must inevitably lead to questions about what this phenomenon signifies for a Canadian political landscape that a Conservative majority government seeks to recast, in part by promoting a sudden and dramatic expansion in economic engagement with China, a nation which is rapidly emerging as our chief ally's major military and economic competitor.
China, of course, denies nefarious activities. A student of history might say, the more things change in strategic geopolitics, the more they stay the same.
Five hundred years ago, English privateers plundered the
Spanish Main. They were judiciously ignored and publicly
lamented by the English Crown, so long as suffered and Queen Elizabeth
I got her cut. Spain
Today, intelligence experts say
routinely turns a blind eye
to "patriotic hackers" - so long as they turn over any sensitive data
for the state's own use. China
Department, in a report on security developments involving , last year confirmed "a
large, well-organized network of enterprises, defence factories, affiliated
research institutes, and computer network operations to facilitate the
collection of sensitive information and export-controlled technology."
Testimony in early February at hearings by the U.S.-China Economic and Security
Review Commission in China Washing-ton, D.C., reported that state-owned enterprises in
are ubiquitous and often serve as strategic instruments for advancing state
"They are run by high-level [Communist] Party cadres or their children," said Derek Scissors, a research fellow in Asian economics with the Heritage Foundation.
He listed the key industrial sectors controlled by the Communist party to advance state goals: information technologies, telecommunications, oil and gas and shipping.
Given the prevalence of these state-owned enterprises and the degree of control that
over Internet portals, security and telecommunications, it beggars belief that
"hackers" capable of operating on such a scale and for so long as the
ones who looted Nortel and rummaged about in 's federal government could
be anything other than government proxies. Canada
The Pentagon's 2011 report to the
Congress, for example, says specifically that Chinese technology companies
maintain close ties with the Chinese military and have been linked directly to 's intelligence
of defence maintains that "economic espionage, supported by extensive open
source research, computer network exploitation, and targeted intelligence
operations" are part of 's
global strategy for obtaining technologies to advance both its military and its
industrial competitiveness against the West. China
The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development warned in 2010 that state-owned enterprises of foreign governments can be effective as "Trojan horses," serving as conduits of illicit technology transfers as well as outright espionage.
Analysts say another key element in Chinese military theory is "strategic deception," creating misperceptions about intent while manoeuvring into a strategically advantageous position.
So let's consider
frequently cited as a future source of crude oil in a magnitude similar to 's
conventional reserves. Saudi Arabia
Back in 2007, Chinese officials were publicly complaining that the Conservative government was giving them the cold shoulder. In 2008, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives even campaigned on a promise that
's bitumen would
not be exported to a jurisdiction with lower environmental standards than our
But in a paper in the Canadian Political Science Review published in January,
of Alberta Laura Way points
out that in 2009, PetroChina abruptly acquired 60 per cent of the Athabasca Oil
Then in 2010, Sinopec, a state-owned enterprise ranked No. 5 on the Fortune 500, bought into Syncrude. Sinopec promptly used its seat on the board of
oil-sands producer to veto plans to increase upgrading of bitumen in . This
was effectively a vote for exporting skilled refining jobs to Canada . China
Chinese companies have now invested almost $20 billion in acquiring Canadian oil assets. And that's just in the past few years.
Ottawa not only appears to now lack the means to control these resources, Way observed, it appears not even to aspire to control them, a peculiar position for a nation whose government keeps touting itself as orchestrating Canada's emergence as an energy superpower.
Robyn Allan, the economist who was formerly the Insurance Corp. of British Columbia's president, points out in a recent Edmonton Journal article that one strategic implication of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project is that it promises a major negative impact upon other regions of Canada.
"Enbridge documents filed with the National Energy Board confirm that, once the Northern Gateway pipeline is built," Allan wrote, "oil producers plan to restrict supply of conventional and heavy crude oil flowing to
"The pipeline will be used to redirect 20 per cent of the sup-ply currently going to refineries in
refineries in northeast Asia. Reduced access
to reasonably priced feedstock will threaten the economics of Canadian
refineries and many will struggle to survive."
This shift would certainly be in the interests of
, but would it be in the interests
of Canadians? China
Meanwhile, since 2006, U.S. government agencies have recorded 26 major cases linking China to attempts to acquire technological secrets involving everything from integrated microwave circuits to major weapons systems, advanced materials research and uranium enrichment processes.
In 2010, "numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the U.S. government, were the target of intrusions, some of which appear to have originated within the PRC [People's Republic of China]," says the Pentagon report.
Last year, as Finance Minister Jim Flaherty prepared for a G20 economic summit in
Paris, hackers penetrated 's
Treasury Board and department of finance computer net-works. They also
infiltrated the House of Commons network. Later analysis identified a
particular interest in MPs with large numbers of ethnic Chinese in their
Canada's Communications Security Establishment tracked this hacking operation to the Chinese embassy in Ottawa and from there to computer servers in Beijing, reported CTV News. Japanese diplomatic missions have been compromised by a computer virus originating in China which provided outside access to data on embassy servers and networks, reported the newspaper Asahi Shimbun. It said that sensitive information in the Japanese parliament was targeted for electronic espionage. The operation was traced back to
In 2011, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission reported that hackers routing commands through a ground station in
Norway took total control of two
surveillance satellites gathering data for non-military scientific research.
While the report did not accuse U.S.
directly, it did observe that the events which occurred were consistent with
"Chinese military tactical writings." China
A Reuters investigative team reported in 2011 that according to
U.S. investigators, " has stolen terabytes of
information - from user names and passwords for state department computers to
designs for multi-billion-dollar weapons systems. And Chinese hackers show no
signs of letting up." China
Reuters said U.S. state department cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made avail-able to Reuters by a third party reported that the department's Cyber Threat Analysis Division had traced the intrusions to Chengdu, China, right to the door of the Chinese army's First Technical Reconnaissance Bureau.
In 2010, the New York Times reported that the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce was informed by the FBI
that its computer net-works had been compromised and that hackers deploying
from servers based in
had stolen emails for six weeks. These emails involved most of the largest
corporations in the China
The hackers were also spying on and stealing information from the chamber's
four U.S. Asia policy experts.
In January of 2010, Google complained it had been attacked by hackers trying to access the accounts of human rights activists in
British, French and German governments all report being penetrated by hackers which they traced back to
. Even German Chancellor
Angela Merkel's accounts were targeted. China
Ed Turzanski, of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, was quoted by CTV News as saying that Chinese hackers conduct these high-profile intrusions because there have been no consequences.
And so, permit me a few impertinent questions: How is it that our federal government is suddenly fawning all over these guys, who are clearly not our friends, nor the friends of our closest allies in the U.S. and NATO?
Defence Minister Peter Mac-Kay told Parliament that, "There is growing and concrete evidence of a massive Chinese network actively spying and reporting on the activities of Canadian citizens and engaging in economic cold war activity." He said industrial espionage was costing the economy $1 billion a month.
"Chinese spies were and are tapping phones and waging campaigns of threats and harassment, all actions that contravene Canadian laws," MacKay said. "
has a huge interest in owning our natural resources and dominating our
So how is it that our Conservative government is now so assiduously courting the same people who are still, apparently, rummaging busily through Canada's most sensitive financial information, stealing industrial and trade secrets?
How is it that the 2008 campaign promise not to export Alberta's oilsands bitumen to a country with lower environmental standards, such as China, has morphed overnight into a plan to ship 190 million barrels a year - to China?
These are all reasonable questions. They should be the starting point for a national conversation.
Perhaps this sudden rapprochement with
is a good idea; perhaps somebody's wisely hedging bets against perceived cracks
in the American empire; maybe it's a prescient strategy for more fully engaging
with the global economy and thus stabilizing the world; maybe it's terrific for
Canadian development. China
But maybe it's a really bad idea to be jumping into bed with our best friend's principal competitor for influence in the Pacific; maybe the perils inherent in possibly alienating the U.S., if push comes to shove over strategic oil supplies, far outweigh the immediate benefits from sales to China; maybe we're being played for suckers in the contemporary version of what Rudyard Kipling called "The Great Game."
Meanwhile, somebody check those new pandas for bugs, please - and I don't mean fleas.