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US mulls unprecedented Chinese sanctions in wake of hacks – report

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Bad move

The US is actively forcing Russia and China to form some kind of alliance. That's a big piece of the world and not a good idea.

Analysts say the regional chest-beating is a challenge to US dominance in Asia and an attempt to cause Washington to choose between losing influence or confronting the Beijing.

Confrontation won't work. The smart thing would be to get rid of the egotistical psychology and simply accept the reality the US is not going to be able to achieve total world domination. In the end, cooperation always gets you further.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bad move

In the end, cooperation always gets you further.

Not when the major source of income for the upper half is war in all its guises. Being a bit less belligerent in its dealing with other parts of the world would allow the US to invest those funds into reconstructing the country and regain a budget surplus instead of a black hole, but the consequence of more prosperity for many is less prosperity for the happy few (as if they'd miss it) and apparently that cannot be allowed. Thus, it needs a constant supply of bad foreigners, even if they have to be fabricated.

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Headmaster

Re: Bad move

Therefore

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bad move

Therefore

Thnx. Those are the perils of being a non-native speaker...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bad move

But the USA wants a unipolar world. They already largely control the 5 Eyes and EU and they want Russia and China to kneel before them as well. They're bringing Russia to its knees though a clever little coup in Kiev and subsequent sanctions, then they moved on to Hong Kong and failed there, so they went for screwing their stock market instead. Now sanctions on the pretext of stealing IP and the rest...which we know happens but the NSA and GCHQ take some beating in that department, never mind the sheer hypocrisy.

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Trollface

Re: Bad move

"The US is actively forcing Russia and China to form some kind of alliance."

They can't form any sort of meaningful alliance as they have been polluted - both countries have McDonald's "restaurants".

Come to think of it, that may explain how US laws get enforced in other countries. North Korea has no McDonald's and US laws definitely don't get enforced there...

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I don't get it. Doesn't the US economy still need the Chinese cash infusions in order to survive? Or is this their way of saying "You know all that money we owe you? We're not going to pay it back. FU and here's some sanctions"

Also "hacking and spying"?! Isn't that what Snowden exposed that the 'muricans were doing to the entire world?

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g e

Stealing IP?

I thought a large number of US Co's GAVE China their IP to ... errr.. build it for them nice n cheap.

Many of the tech bigwigs doing the heavy thinking at places like MIT also seem to have mostly Asian or 'Eastern Bloc' names, too, on the published papers...

Not to mention that a false flag op on the internet is a (relatively) simple thing to carry out if you have gear hacked in the right locations. I'm sure everyone trusts the USA, though. At least, as much as they trust China, anyway.

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China has been selling off US treasuries by the boatload (estimated to be at least $100 billion, around 7% of their $1.5 trillion holdings) the last few weeks to prop up their currency. That's why despite the drop in the US stock market treasuries have remained flat (normally they'd go up in value, driving interest rates down)

So this was already happening prior to any new US 'sanctions'. That might speed up the process, but if China's economy tumbles and drags down the US stock market (along with others most likely) then US treasuries become the safe haven and can easily absorb everything China chooses to sell.

I don't buy the conspiracy theory suggestions that the US is behind the China stock meltdown, however. Anyone paying attention could see China had a huge bubble going, and it was due to pop soon. They have a command economy so they can engineer a softer landing than what happened in 2008 for the US but a bubble is a bubble and the longer it goes unpopped the worse the pop is. China has never had one before so a lot of its citizens expected asset values to go up forever. A lot of them are learning the hard way that sometimes they can go down, too.

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"The US has publicly accused Beijing of funding hacking teams to steal intellectual property from American companies"

Of course that is a bad thing, the proper way is for US companies to give it all over to Chinese joint ventures in return for cheaper labour than keeping stuff in the USA. All about who profits...

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Anonymous Coward

Of course that is a bad thing, the proper way is for US companies to give it all over to Chinese joint ventures in return for cheaper labour than keeping stuff in the USA. All about who profits...

Well, it's all rather hypocritical. Ignoring any semblance of intellectual property rights is how the US economy got started, so I think it's a bit rich to complain when the Chinese do the same thing. Very often, I get a pot/kettle feeling when I see the US deal with the Chinese. What exactly do they need the NSA for?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending anyone stealing IP. I just abhor hypocrisy.

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Anonymous Coward

Ignoring any semblance of rights is how the US economy got started...

FTFY

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Anonymous Coward

Stealing IP

I thought the prevailing wisdom round these parts was that you can't steal IP, just infringe on it.

More seriously, a patent is a licence given by a country to prevent others using your invention, in return for your publishing the details. A US patent will stop others making, selling, or importing your invention in the the US. If you want to stop a Chinese company making it in China, and selling into the Chinese market (1 billion potential customers!), then you need a Chinese patent.

There used to be a stereotype that Chinese patents were worthless, so inventors didn't apply to them. That stereotype is now false - Chinese companies have lost infringement cases to foreign companies. But many patents don't have a Chinese equivalent, and are fair game unless you plan on exporting them.

For many companies it's actually the trade secrets which protect them. They have a good working process to make their product, and know all the little tricks to keep production going. Any company trying to set up against them has to go through all the hard learning that goes with setting up manufacturing, which takes time and money. Shipping the production line over, and then teaching them how to run it, provides a handy shortcut to learn all this.

So this is more about companies rushing to hand their IP over than having it stolen. Not that it matters to the folk on the factory floor when the company goes bust.

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Bronze badge

Re: Stealing IP

Yes, it is kind of stupid to prattle on about 'stealing IP' when in reality we've been falling over ourselves to give it to them. I've been grumbling about this for years -- while the folks upstairs have their Powerpoint presentations about 'the smiley face curve' showing how there's no profit in manufacturing the Chinese have been content to practically give their labor away because what they were getting in supply chain, manufacturing and distribution know-how was beyond mere value, it was priceless.

Now its starting to dawn on people that the Chinese are quite capable of developing their own stuff -- not a surprise for those working in this environment since half your colleagues are Chinese. Because we're stuck with 'free trade' there's no legitimate way of introducing tariff barriers so we're trying to find an excuse to introduce sanctions -- tariffs, in other words. This is disingenuous to an extreme.

As for hacking, I believe we all know who's the world #1 in that field. We spend a fortune on it and I'm having some trouble believing its just tracking the movements of a handful of potential terrorists.

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I can see that working

Until China stops exports to the US in retaliation... I wonder who will blink first.

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Re: I can see that working

Right now, China. Hey, look on the bright side. All those US Treasuries? Whose gonna end up with them when it all comes apart over there?

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Re: I can see that working

Heh, the PRC economy is already imploding.

Meanwhile, once again, we caught Chinese hackers inside of our network. We average between 5 and 8 a month these days.

We secure our clients networks, we don't bother doing that on our own.

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Let me guess. Since everyone's doing it, and we really, really believe hard enough, the PRC has been caught red-handed (heh!). Ours, not so much. (And I don't even want to look at the other four eyes.) Not exactly the right time to do this given trade, market, and geo-political situation. Unless you're trying to destabilize the PRC. [Russia Gambit] Ugly, really, really ugly.

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All super powers fall. History predicts that. Let's hope this one is televised.

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Anonymous Coward

Bunch of idiots..

Is this by any chance phase 1 of appropriating US holdings by the Chinese? It wouldn't surprise me, but the consequences of that could be very dire indeed.

The US tech industry is extremely beholden to Chinese manufacturing, so God help them if the US is going to play the usual import duty games. The Chinese can get the whole of Silicon Valley to panic by just stopping exports cold for a few days. Or manufacturing. They set themselves up for that when they started to outsource this in search for more profit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bunch of idiots..

Speaking as someone who works for a NY State company that is progressively offshoring most everything to China (despite a personal plea from the then Senator Clinton), I'm fairly certain that the moment the Chinese even hinted they might start export embargoes then we would start switching everything to India, Malaysia or Vietnam instead.

And I know it's just a technicality that could be undone with the stroke of a pen, but a lot of Western companies' facilities in China are set up in "free zones", which are already outside of China for export purposes. We can ship from China to anywhere else in the world in a matter of days, but it takes weeks to actually ship from the factory to somewhere else in China because of all the importation paperwork that has to be completed.

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So who is the pot?

When I first read the headline, I thought China was imposing sanctions on the US, something they could easily do.

Cut off anything related to rare earths and the usual 'high tech' to a potential enemy and the US will start to hurt pretty quickly.

For the last five years the US has been trying to establish a rare earths industry but as far as I know its not there yet. Plus if the Chines take back all their scientists, US research will take a big hit.

I would love to know how many items of intellectual property the yanks have nicked since the second world war.

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Re: Bunch of idiots..

Depending on the product, up ordering from Indonesia, India, South Korea, Vietnam and South Korea would be trivial.

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The need to be seen.

The US government need to be seen to be doing something, but I doubt they'd risk a trade war with PRC. Since this is just "rumors" I suspect it's just brinksmanship.

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Does this mean ...

that the USA has seen the errors of its ways and will stop the NSA doing similar things to other countries ? I doubt it, one rule for them, one rule for everyone else.

Hypocrites.

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Anonymous Coward

love's labour lost

So first the US corporations all set up shop in CHINA to exploit cheap labour, then they find out that there is no such thing as a free meal

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Blaming China

It is not the fault of the government of China that the American government has so much high value data, and "secures" it with Windows. We might as well leave our wealth on the lawn with a sign requesting the burglars feed the cat while we're away on holiday.

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Holmes

Economic sanctions

Is there an election in the offing? Does the Democratic Party need some funding?

Watch with surprise as the sectors of the Chinese economy hit with sanctions just so happen to be sectors of the US economy that will benefit large donors to the Dems, and you can call me Susan if it isn't so.

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Anonymous Coward

Time to start making that bunker in the garden.

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Chung Kuo

Seems like David Wingrove was a time traveller, this is playing out along the lines of his epic novels.

Well worth a read.

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Silver badge

A lot of missed points here....

The Chinese are already losing "off-shore" manufacturing to India and more moves are on the way. Their stock market was over-valued along with the currency. The currency, for the most part, has been fixed at a certain rate for many years.

Other things at play here include the Chinese power/island grab, their increase in military spending what with buying or building ships, etc. There's ecological problems that are costing them a small fortune such as the various rivers that totally toxic. I note that after paying for one Olympic, they're after another one. The money has to come from somewhere.

OTOH, stuff I've bought from Chinese companies (not the stuff manufactured for other countries' companies) is basically crap. No quality control and in many cases, poor design. There's a reason why the Chinese populous want goods from companies outside of China.

So even without the US, or the EU for that matter, doing anything, they've hurt themselves and like the Greek problem recently, the potential is take a whole lot of other countries with them.

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Re: A lot of missed points here....

Not quite crap on the entire spectrum of products.

There are two tiers, cheap crap and good quality.

The iPhone doesn't fall apart like other Chinese cheap products do.

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Re: A lot of missed points here....

iPhone is a contract job to Apple's specs. If it weren't, the quality would be very mixed. Even Lenovo's being sold in China are better then the local brands going to local people there because Lenovo has to satisfy the rest of the world.

So yes, they can do good quality when they want to.

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Moral high ground?

I find it amusing that the U.S. is still releasing statements re China hacking when they pretty much have lost all credibility when it comes to playing fair.

Was it not the NSA that were caught backdooring Cisco ASAs sent out of the U.S., monitoring Merkel's phone, routinely data slurping from Internet services and telcos?

If China had been so publicly exposed doing the above, I wonder what would happen then. (Edit: I mean to global services, I'm aware China routinely is a bit naughty when it comes to their local comms)

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