Coincidence that these two articles were posted almost right after one another?
Number one, from CNN.com, China taking on U.S. in cyber arms race
China is seeking to unseat the United States as the dominant power in cyberspace, a U.S. Air Force general leading a new push in this area said Wednesday.
"They're the only nation that has been quite that blatant about saying, 'We're looking to do that,"' 8th Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Robert Elder told reporters..
.. The Defense Department said in its annual report on China's military power last month that China regarded computer network operations -- attacks, defense and exploitation -- as critical to achieving "electromagnetic dominance" early in a conflict.
China's People's Liberation Army has established information warfare units to develop viruses to attack enemy computer systems and networks, the Pentagon said.
Brave new.. cyber world? State-sanctioned viral attacks that cripple economies, destroy communication grids, and prevent people from entering a winning bid for that Barry Bonds bobble head doll they wanted on Ebay?
I suppose it would be easy to wave this off as fear-mongering, as our gov'ment is so wont to do, but article number two from the BBC, FBI tries to fight zombie hordes takes this to task:
The FBI is contacting more than one million PC owners who have had their computers hijacked by cyber criminals.
The initiative is part of an ongoing project to thwart the use of hijacked home computers, or zombies, as launch platforms for hi-tech crimes.The FBI has found networks of zombie computers being used to spread spam, steal IDs, and attack websites.
The agency said the zombies or bots were "a growing threat to national security".
These wouldn't happen to be chinese
zombie networks, would they?
Meanwhile, besides the giant deficit that the U.S. is holding with China, Europe's trade gap with China grew 33% in the 1st Quarter
China will face mounting ``impatience and anger'' from the EU unless it takes steps to ease trade tensions and open its market to European goods, EU Trade Commissioner Peter] Mandelson said.
At the same time, China is still working on those pesky little problems, like slave labour
Tens of thousands of police raided brick kilns across central China this week in a hunt for more than 1,000 children kidnapped and sold into slave labour in a revival of abuses associated with the poverty of the 1930s and 1940s.
The scandal involving negligent law enforcement and even collusion between government officials and slave masters burst into the open only after the domestic media ran a series of hard-hitting investigative reports.
The children, as well as many adult workers, were guarded by fierce dogs and thugs who beat their prisoners at will and were forced to work 16 hours a day with little food. They lived in squalid conditions, sleeping on filthy quilts on layers of bricks inside brickworks working at full pace to keep up with the demands of China's construction boom.
Even while the government of China struggles with its own media, locking up bloggers and other journalists, their economy continues to boom. Well, I guess my output would be a lot better, too, if I had a billion shmoes to do my bidding for pennies a day and squalid living conditions.China's industrial output rose 18.1 percent in May
this year (including all state enterprises and private enterprises with annual sales revenues in excess of $0.625 million) and its fixed-asset urban investment surged 25.9%
yet they can't even keep the Olympics clean from the smear of child labour
Some people still think they're gonna be the cat's meow of the global economy soon enough - like in ten years
In the next 10 years the main driver will be the industrialisation of China. Don't doubt it - and the Chinese will become very active investors globally. Chinese money will soon smack into equity markets. They will initially invest in the companies causing them the most trouble. They are fed up with being bent over by the Australians, Brazilians and Yanks.
The truth of the matter, however, is that our politicians are allowing their politicians to soldier on in this time of human rights and civil liberty abuses, all the while lining their pockets. China is an economic force to be reckoned with because they are allowing the sort of squalor in working conditions that was reserved for coloniale rule of the 18th century and beyond. Certainly, we should not be proud of our own history of slavery and economic oppression (think company mining towns, indians, etc).. but the real question we must ask ourselves is whether, having learned from our mistakes, we will stand up and loudly denounce these look-the-other-way policies?
Would China not grow in a more stable and mature fashion, causing less economic bubble-bursting in the end, if it worked heavily on these problems and simply said No
to human rights abuse, paid their employees a mildly livable wage, and smiled in the mirror in the morning? I think so, but if there is anything you can count on it is the power of human greed.
Mark my words, the roller coaster is just getting started.