US and China Staging Cyber War Games – Together

There has been a great deal of tension apparent between the U.S. and China, the former accusing the latter of repeated instances of electronic espionage and the latter fearing the former as an aggressive power in the mold of the Opium War powers.

Well, apparently the distrust between the two countries isn’t as deep as common wisdom says it is or the actors on each side are a bit less strident and uncooperative than they are thought to be, because last year the two countries staged online wargames with each other, according to reporting by the Guardian.

The games were designed “to help prevent a sudden military escalation between the sides if either felt they were being targeted.”

Two wargames have been finished and another is scheduled for next month. They were put together by two think tanks, the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in D.C. and the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing.

The first two exercises involved a Stuxnet-like worm, each side taking turns to be the defending party.

In addition to figuring out how to communicate with one another about this sort of situation, the war games were also an opportunity for each side to say to the other, “If you do something like this, here’s what our reaction will be.”

Jim Lewis, a senior fellow and director at the CSIS, told the Guardian that the Chinese participants were more combative than they would have liked.

“The [Chinese officials] who favour co-operation are not as strong as the people who favour conflict.”

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