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《TAIPEI TIMES》 Chinese cyberattacks have surged: security agency


Helicopters fly past Taipei 101 on Monday.
Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters

Helicopters fly past Taipei 101 on Monday. Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters

2024/05/17 03:00

‘HONG KONGIZATION?’ NSB official Ko Cheng-heng said that Beijing’s campaign against Taiwan would spark a strong backlash from democracies around the world

By Jonathan Chin / Staff writer, with CNA

Cyberattacks from China have surged to 2.5 million per day as it intensifies its “gray zone” activities ahead of president-elect William Lai’s (賴清德) inauguration on Monday next week, the National Security Bureau (NSB) said yesterday at a meeting of the legislatures’ Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.

An official in charge of the agency’s fifth division made the comments in response to questions from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) about possible Chinese activities that would coincide with the inauguration.

China has increased disinformation operations and cyberattacks, the official said, adding that the latter more than doubled the average of 1 million hacks per day earlier this year.

The attacks, which mainly targeted government agencies, are being countered by the bureau’s efforts to find and eliminate cybersecurity vulnerabilities before they could be exploited, they said.

The bureau detected an uptick in Chinese “gray zone” warfare, but nothing unusual from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the months leading to the inauguration, NSB Deputy Director-General Ko Cheng-heng (柯承亨) said.

Asked by DPP Legislator Michelle Lin (林楚茵) whether Wednesday’s sanctions against Taiwanese pundits by China threatened to “Hong Kongize” Taiwan, Ko said that Beijing’s campaign against the nation would spark a stronger backlash from the world’s democracies.

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Remus Chen (陳立國) said that China’s experiment with extraterritorial repression has angered democratic nations globally, which cannot tolerate infringement on their national sovereignty and their citizens’ rights.

Meanwhile, a US Department of State spokesperson on Wednesday urged China to stop military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, calling for Beijing to conduct meaningful dialogue across the Taiwan Strait.

The spokesperson made the remark in response to a request for comment from Central News Agency (CNA).

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Ministry of National Defense detected 51 PLA vessels operating near Taiwan.

The US expresses its concern over China’s continued attempt at intimidating and pressuring Taiwan, as Beijing’s actions carry a risk of miscalculation harming regional peace, the US spokesperson said.

Washington is to continue its opposition to any unilateral change of the “status quo” and support the peaceful resolution of the question concerning both sides of the Strait, positions that agree with the interests of Taiwanese, they said.

The US would ensure that diplomatic and military communication channels with Beijing remain open during the sensitive period of Taiwan’s transfer of power, a US official separately told CNA.

Likewise, Washington will maintain unofficial ties with Taiwan, they said.

The American Institute in Taiwan has advised Lai’s incoming administration of Washington’s long-standing policy on affairs in the Strait, they added.

The US cautions Taiwan that China would likely carry out coercive actions via “gray zone” tactics, they said, citing the example of China Coast Guard pressure near Kinmen County in February.

These tactics are not new for Beijing, which has practiced them in the South China Sea and around the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), they said.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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