read speculations about China one day launching electromagnetic pulse bomb attacks against the United States, I suppose at least this pic offers a salutary reminder that things could be even worse if a omnicidal maniac ever had the means at their disposal to deliver destruction on an even larger scale. So don't tell me that this blog never looks on the sunny side of life, right?
There's no way for me to be sure of course, but I'm constantly amazed at the numbers of requests for help I've noticed editors get from Chinese students looking to get into MIT and the like to study computer science. Many of the applicants refer to their interest in hacking/security issues, so I can't help wondering if the ulterior motive is sometimes to later use this knowledge for cyberwar (including accessing the knowledge bases of foreign corporations to learn how they make their products, so their Chinese competitors can attempt to copy and improve them).
I don't want to make this sound like Sinophobia though, not least because I think the political science and computer science departments of any university in the West you can name are in all likelihood equally complicit in state security issues. With regard to political science, for example, one need only consider the critiques of South East Asian Studies as being too closely aligned to the objectives of the U.S. State Department, given its downplaying of the significance of revolution as a developmental logic in this region, in the interest of emphasizing functionalist systems theory instead.
Having said that, the fact remains that China's comparatively low ranking on the Press Freedom Index indicates it is inherently more difficult for its Fourth Estate to "witness" and thereby preempt the kind of realpolitik I've referred to in this post.