May 26th, 2014
03:12 PM ET

China and our new, messy world

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Fareed Zakaria

Last week, we saw a new world of great power intrigue. The U.S. Justice Department filed formal charges against five officials in the Chinese military and detailed the economic espionage that they allegedly have conducted against American companies over the last eight years.

The action is unprecedented, especially since these officials are never going to be arrested – and will probably never leave China. And no one believes it will make any difference because the Chinese officials are unlikely to face any kind of sanction at home. In fact, if anything, they might regard being on this list as a badge of honor…

…Cyber attacks are part of a new, messy, chaotic world, fueled by globalization and the information revolution. In a wired, networked world, it is much harder to shut down this kind of activity. And it certainly will not be possible to do it using traditional mechanisms of national security.

Notice that Washington is using a legal mechanism (which will be ineffective and largely symbolic) for what is really a national security issue. The Sino-Russian gas deal reminds us that traditional geopolitics is alive and well.

And Washington knows how to work its way in that world. But cyber espionage represents a new frontier and no one really has ideas, tools or strategies to properly address this challenge.

Watch the video for the full Take or read the WaPo column


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Topics: China • Fareed's Take

soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. chri§§y

    Lol @ YYJ.... China doesnt have to steal technology from the US because Corporate America just hands it over to them! And its kinda late for us to holler foul now wouldnt you think?

    May 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
  2. Infinitus Max

    But there is so much room for improvement now, it has to happen.

    May 27, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
  3. lover of freedom

    the US invented the internet....and it owns it .....lock n key for ever...china wants to play illegal games ...throttle the whole country .....there needs to be a mirror trade agreement...where both countries see things on a even playing field for the betterment of all the people....and there right to choose /may the light you seek shine brighter with love

    May 27, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
    • Afell

      When last I checked, the development of the internet was a collaborative international effort. Granted, a lot of funding came from American sources, but the invention of the internet was an organic outgrowth of improving data infrastructures around the world. The current incarnation of what people like to call the internet (the world wide web) was actually developed by Tim Burners Lee (a British citizen) who was working at CERN in Switzerland. So get off your pompous 'Merica soapbox. Give credit where it is due. I'm proud of what this country has done, but I also know that we can do better, and recognizing the great amount of shared capabilities we have with the rest of the world goes a long way to mitigating the burden on our own people.

      May 28, 2014 at 6:59 am |
  4. chri§§y

    I SAID Corporate America @ Dee. I know its not the citizens. And i said awhile ago when they were pushing gun control so hard that the internet was more dangerous than guns...guess they are seeing that now eh?

    May 27, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    Sometimes it's good to remember that "corporation" is not a dirty word.
    I like the word "conglomerate," too.

    May 28, 2014 at 7:13 am |
  6. jeff forsythe

    All that reporters talk about concerning Red China is finance, never a peep about the atrocities that have been and are still being committed daily by the blood-thirsty Chinese Communist Party. The only relations that the rest of the World should be having with the cruel CCP is trying to bring to trial the thousands of Communist Party members who have been and are still committing millions of human rights atrocities.The brutal Chinese Communist Party has murdered over fifty million of its own people since 1949, since 1999 it has been attempting the blood-thirsty genocide of the tens of millions of innocent Falun Gong who live in Mainland China. To this end, the heinous CCP is using torture,slavery, organ harvesting and murder. Because of corporate greed, these atrocities and millions of others have been kept from the Western people by the Western media. The weak United Nations even appointed the brutal CCP a seat on its Human Rights Council this year. Shameful. Thank you for your concern.

    May 28, 2014 at 9:44 am |
    • Joseph McCarthy

      You forgot to mention jeff, the obscene butchery being carried out in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen by our own ungodly drones and Apache helicopters. Before you throw stones at China or anyone else, look at our track record! As Jesus once said: Let he who has not sinned, cast the first stone!

      May 29, 2014 at 8:01 am |
      • Pepinium

        Joseph, since I dont know if you are American, I am not going to call you an apologist, but it is really a dishonest stretch to compare our hammering of an organization (Al Quaida) that has sworn to, and repeatedly tried to, attack our interests everywhere, including at home, to the Chinese government's treatment of its citizens. I hope you are just being dishonest in building an argument to try to self-justify your political views (you are not convincing anyone with an actual working brain). Hate to think anyone can be so out of touch with reality.

        May 29, 2014 at 10:23 am |
  7. chri§§y

    Lol @ Joey...its becomming a dirty word. One that you definitely need to wash your kids mouth out if they say it!

    May 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
  8. chri§§y

    Just as is the NSA! Perhaps the dirtiest word of them all! And our elected clowns need to step up and take ownership of that hot mess. Pretty easy for them to sit back and call one man a traitor and a coward for blowing the whistle on THEIR actions instead of taking ownership of THEIR own actions!

    May 28, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    Every time an airplane that I'm riding touches down on a runway safely, I am intense grateful to the NSA._
    Snowmen is not a coward, but he is a traitor.
    I hope that he finds a nice place to live in some place like Russia, and revels in the high standard of living there.

    May 29, 2014 at 8:07 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      By the way, regarding dirty words, I think that USA citizens should be able to say any (any) word they want to use. Even if a word is offensive to me. You should be free to say it to me.
      Sticks and stones are different.

      May 29, 2014 at 8:12 am |
  10. chri§§y

    If Snowden were a coward as you say he wouldnt have said a wouldnt have said anything! Because by doing so he destroyed HIS whole world! No i dont think he was a coward at all....a coward is someone who just lets things that he knows are wrong, continue. A coward is someone who DOESNT stand up for the things he knows are right!

    May 29, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
  11. wolves123

    China is an evil country. It always try to steal, copy, cheat, lie for its own benefits. China is becoming the most hated country in the world. China government is perpetual liar. They take no responsibility for any wrong doings. The first thing they do is to deny and blame others for their bad behavior. Shame in China!

    May 29, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
  12. wolves123

    This current president of China, Xi Jinping, is Hitler of the 21st century. He wants to invade other Asian countries and conquer Asia, He wants to practice imperialism in ASIA. He thinks China is more superior than any other country in the world, even more than the US, therefore he is becoming more and more aggressive, bullying his neighboring countries shamelessly, trying to illegally grab land and water that belong to other countries. Chinese people, please do not fall into the trap of this president, and support his conquering ambition, it will only lead to China's destruction. Please remember what happened to the countries that were involved in the conquering from World War 2: They were ALL defeated. I hope there are still some Chinese people out there who love peace and reasoning.

    May 29, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
    • ElliotJKlein

      Please folks, don't fall for what that nitwit posted above. He just wants you to become another lame-brained, right-wing Tea Partier like he is.

      May 29, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
      • NBY


        June 1, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
      • NBY

        I mean that ......123.

        June 1, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
    • NBY

      You just out off Sing Sing or something?

      June 1, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
      • NBY

        I mean those wolves

        June 1, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
  13. banasy

    I'm sleepy

    May 31, 2014 at 4:49 am |
  14. rupert

    So go to sleep.

    May 31, 2014 at 4:50 am |
  15. banasy

    I'm thirsty.

    May 31, 2014 at 4:51 am |
  16. rupert

    So drink some water.

    May 31, 2014 at 4:52 am |
  17. banasy


    May 31, 2014 at 4:53 am |
  18. lex

    this is ridiculous given the fact the NSA has been storing phone, email, social network data for American citizen.

    June 3, 2014 at 12:29 am |
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    July 7, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
  20. Yomaira

    Thank you, Ms. Eisenhower for your common sense, riontaal, reasonable, thoughtful essay. We can hope that most voters haven't been scared away from the polls by unreasonable, irrational, nonsensical, and thoughtless rhetoric.from the far right, because it is so wrong.

    July 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
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