New Analysis Looks At Chinese Cyber Developments

A new NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence analysis gives a comprehensive overview of Chinese cyber structures and developments. “China and Cyber: Attitudes, Strategies, Organisation” looks at the nation’s unique approach to internet governance and cyber security.

In the digital sphere, China stands out in its approach to internet governance, extensive industrial espionage, and increasing military focus on cyber operations, which are the themes highlighted in the analysis. “China’s cyber developments, including the espionage, must be placed into the general context of governance which drives society towards informatisation while maintaining firm political control,” highlights Mikk Raud, the author of the study.

“The Chinese perception of disproportionate Western dominance in shaping the global internet’s future means it promotes sovereignty-based internet governance. This approach allows states to regulate cyberspace as they wish,” argues Raud. He explains that this position is based on China’s view of information as a strategic weapon to achieve an asymmetric advantage, while being aware of the potential threat free information constitutes to the regime.

The editor of the series, Kadri Kaska, emphasizes that China does not treat cyber as a distinct policy but as a part of their integral approach to attain the country’s long-term geopolitical objectives, which are economic and military superiority and an axiomatic influence in world affairs.

Full “China and Cyber: Attitudes, Strategies, Organisation” report is available online at

The NATO CCD COE series on national organisational models for ensuring cyber security summarise national cyber security strategy objectives and outline the division of cyber security tasks and responsibilities between agencies. In particular, the reports give an overview of the mandate, tasks and competences of the relevant organisations and of coordination between them. The scope of the reports encompasses the mandates of political and strategic cyber security governance; national cyber incident management coordination; military cyber defence; and cyber aspects of crisis prevention and crisis management.

The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCD COE) is a NATO-accredited knowledge hub, research institution, and training and exercise facility. The Tallinn-based international military organisation focuses on interdisciplinary applied research, as well as consultations, trainings and exercises in the field of cyber security.