China’s emergence as a major global power is reshaping the cyber domain. The country has the world’s largest internet-user community, a growing economic footprint and increasingly capable military and intelligence services. Harnessing these assets, it is pursuing a patient, assertive foreign policy that seeks to determine how information and communications technologies are governed and deployed. This policy is likely to have significant normative impact, with potentially adverse implications for a global order that has been shaped by Western liberal democracies. And, even as China goes out into the world, there are signs that new technologies are becoming powerful tools for domestic social control and the suppression of dissent abroad.
Western policymakers are struggling to meet this challenge. While there is much potential for good in a self-confident China that is willing to invest in the global commons, there is no guarantee that the country’s growth and modernisation will lead inexorably to democratic political reform. This Adelphi book examines the political, historical and cultural development of China’s cyber power, in light of its evolving internet, intelligence structures, military capabilities and approach to global governance. As China attempts to gain the economic benefits that come with global connectivity while excluding information seen as a threat to stability, the West will be forced to adjust to a world in which its technological edge is fast eroding and can no longer be taken for granted.
Table of Contents
1. Evolution of the Chinese Internet: Freedom and Control
2. Cyber Espionage
3. Military Capabilities
4. Battle for the Soul of the Internet
Nigel Inkster is Director of Future Conflict and Cyber Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He served for 31 years in the British Secret intelligence Service (SIS). He had postings in Asia, Latin America and Europe and worked extensively on transnational security issues. He was on the Board of SIS (commonly known as MI6) for seven years, the last two as Assistant Chief and Director for Operations and Intelligence. He graduated from St. John’s College Oxford with a first-class degree in oriental studies. His languages include Chinese and Spanish. He is the former Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Committee on Terrorism and a current member of the WEF Council on Cyber Security.
'This excellent book fills a major gap in the literature on China's future. Inkster does a superb job at examining the role of the cyber domain in facilitating China's rise. ...Highly recommended for China specialists, upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty.'-- M. E. Carranza, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, CHOICE