| BEIJING, June 16
BEIJING, June 16 China must boost its
cyber-warfare strength to counter a Pentagon push, the country's
top military newspaper said on Thursday after weeks of friction
over accusations that Beijing may have launched a string of
Internet hacking attacks.
The accusations against China have centred on an intrusion
into the security networks of Lockheed Martin Corp and
other U.S. military contractors, and deceptions intended to gain
access to the Google e-mail accounts of U.S. officials
and Chinese human rights advocates.
But the official newspaper of the People's Liberation Army
said it was Beijing that was vulnerable to attack, in a news
report that surveyed the Pentagon's efforts in cyber security.
"The U.S. military is hastening to seize the commanding
military heights on the Internet, and another Internet war is
being pushed to a stormy peak," concluded the report in the
Chinese-language Liberation Army Daily.
"Their actions remind us that to protect the nation's
Internet security, we must accelerate Internet defence
development and accelerate steps to make a strong Internet
army," said the Liberation Army Daily article.
The article was also published on the website of China's
Ministry of Defence (www.mod.gov.cn).
Although it does not amount to an official government
statement, the report in the military newspaper -- which is
closely vetted to reflect official thinking -- shows how China
is also focused on the issues of Internet attacks and defence.
"Although our country has developed into an Internet great
power, our Internet security defences are still very weak. So we
must accelerate development of Internet battle technology and
armament," said the report.
"Comprehensively improve our military's ability to defend
the Internet frontiers," it urged.
Earlier this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said
Washington was seriously concerned about cyber-attacks and
prepared to use force against any it considered acts of war.
(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Alex Richardson)