The report lists “cyber activities” directed against the DoD by China and said: “Computer systems around the world, including those owned by the U.S. government, continued to be targeted by China-based intrusions through 2017.” It said these intrusions focused on accessing networks and extracting information, and said China uses its cyber capabilities to support intelligence collection against U.S. diplomatic, economic, academic, and defense sectors.
According to the Department of Defense, China is looking to narrow the gap with the U.S. in terms of cyberwarfare capabilities. “The Pentagon report said that in recent years the Chinese army has emphasized the importance of cyberspace for national security because of the country’s increasing reliance on its digital economy,” reports ZDNet. “It said Chinese military strategists see cyber operations as a low-cost deterrent that can demonstrate capabilities and challenge an adversary.” From the report: The DoD’s annual report to congress (PDF) points to a Chinese international cyberspace cooperation strategy in March 2017, which called for the expedited development of a military “cyber force” as an important aspect of the country’s defense strategy. However, the U.S. report said that China also believes its cyber capabilities and personnel lag behind those of the U.S. and that China “is working to improve training and bolster domestic innovation to overcome these perceived deficiencies and advance cyberspace operations.”