Evaluating China’s Road to Cyber Super Power

January 2022 No Comments

Author: Williams, B. (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

Questions of Focus

[Q5] How do US escalation management capabilities compare with those of our nuclear-armed competitors? How do relative non-kinetic capabilities (e.g., cyber exploits on infrastructure and information, communication of thresholds and redlines, integrated whole-of-government strategic messaging) contribute to these capabilities?

[Q7] What will be the key effects of emerging technologies (e.g., hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous platforms, the revolution in sensing capabilities) on the deterrence effectiveness of US strategic forces in the future? Specifically, how might these technologies alter US and competitor nuclear strategies?

[Q8] What are key analytic approaches that USSTRATCOM planners might use to assess competitors’ behaviors, intentions and capabilities holistically, including common and divergent national interests? Which are most appropriate for identifying the interrelationships among US and competitor interests and objectives, and for crafting strategies to counter those that undermine US interests and encourage those that satisfy US interests and objectives?

Publication Preview

The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 14th Five Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and Long-Range Objectives for 2035 unambiguously states the aspiration of maturing into a cyber superpower. This paper examines recent publications to evaluate the CCP’s path to reaching cyber superpower status. It asks where does China stand relative to the United States’ cyber power in the short-, medium-, and long-term?

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