There, is a sleeping giant. Let him sleep! If he awakes, he will shake the world.
—Napoleon on China
Make no mistake: China is wide awake. Its quest for the proprietary information developed by others, principally the United States, is aggressive, unrelenting, sophisticated, structured, supported by the government and its military, and, ultimately, successful. And China denies it.
Is China alone in its quest for information? Of course not. A lot of people, nations, and companies steal information that does not belong to them. The art of industrial, economic, and technology espionage has a long history. Sometimes employees steal information. Sometimes terrorist groups are in on the action. Social protest groups are known to have stolen proprietary information. Certainly criminal organizations steal information. Information has value, financial as well as strategic, military, economic, diplomatic, cultural, political, and social. Information is, as has been said, power. It is also the potential or the promise of power.
At a very simplistic level, China's cyber strategy is very unambiguous. It wants to acquire in any way it can as much useful information as it can. But what's important from China's point of view? In part, what is important to China now is what is important to China's future. Again, simplistically, China is stealing targeted information ...