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'Cold War mentality' drives US cyber plan
By Wang Linyan (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-04-23 09:01

The United States plans to create a cyber-security military command to keep its leadership in cyber-warfare, according to analysts.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the Obama administration plans to create the new military command to focus on Pentagon computer networks and offensive capabilities in cyber-warfare.

The initiative will reshape the military's efforts to protect its networks from attacks by hackers, especially those from countries such as China and Russia, the paper said. The Journal had earlier reported that computer spies repeatedly breached the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program - the $300 billion Joint Strike Fighter project.

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The paper quoted former US officials as saying the attacks seemed to have originated in China but that it was difficult to determine their origin.

"The US wants to get its cyber defense system ready to prepare for potential threats although its cyber offensive capability is 10 times stronger than China's according to our assessment," said Pan Zheng, a senior researcher in US Strategy at National Defense University.

This, said Pan, is driven by Cold War mentality. "The US takes China, the biggest developing country, as a competitor."

"The US also feels threatened by the fact that China has the second largest pool of computer talent, next only to India," said Pan.

The Foreign Ministry has said that China "opposes and forbids all forms of cyber crimes".

Jin Canrong, deputy dean of the school of international studies at Renmin University of China, pointed out that China too needs to strengthen its cyber defense capability. "China's cyberspace has been used as a springboard by hackers from other countries," said Jin.