Days after being accused by a private internet security firm of dozens of hacking attacks on international organizations, China responded with charges that the US and India were behind thousands of “Trojan” attacks on Chinese computers. The Hindu reports:
An official report released on Tuesday claimed that about half of 493,000 cyber attacks on the websites of the Chinese government and other agencies “originated from abroad, particularly the United States and India”.
The New Great Game is not just confined to cyberspace. Closely watched by Japan and the US, China has set its first aircraft carrier on its maiden voyage, launched at least one sophisticated spy satellite, and developed missiles capable of destroying American aircraft carriers.Also noted with some concern in India are recent joint military exercises between China and Pakistan only twenty-five kilometers from the Indian border. An entire Chinese brigade is participating in the war games, and China is also supplying the Pakistanis with unmanned aerial vehicles capable of spying on India.For most Pakistanis, the unsatisfactory alliance with the US is falling apart and China is the future. The chairman of the Pakistan-China Institute wrote in Dawn:
While China is vital for Pakistan’s security, stability, economy and energy, and is also now a factor for national unity given across-the-board national consensus on close ties with our time-tested neighbour, Pakistan’s importance too has increased since it protects China’s troubled ‘soft southern underbelly’ (Tibet, Xinjiang). With the Dalai Lama operating out of India, the ‘Tibet card’ could now be played in coordination with the ‘Xinjiang card’ as the World Uighur Congress has its headquarters in Washington.
Even though the Chinese often see the Pakistanis as a dangerous liability, many Pakistani analysts believe Pakistan’s sworn enmity against India and deteriorating relationship with the US have strengthened ties between Beijing and Islamabad in a variety of ways: Security cooperation to combat Uighur extremists in Pakistan and western China, economic assistance in developing important infrastructure like the Karakoram highway and the port of Gwadar, and rapidly expanding bilateral trade.History may have ended, but the Game of Thrones goes on.