President Trump recently accused the Chinese of interfering in American politics ahead of the midterm elections. “They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president to ever challenge China on trade,” he said, addressing the United Nations Security Council. He provided no evidence, and appeared to be complaining mostly about retaliatory tariffs by the Chinese government, which may hurt constituencies that support him, and an advertorial touting U.S.-China trade in an Iowa newspaper.
特朗普总统最近指责中国在中期选举前干涉美国政治。“他们不希望我或我们赢得胜利,因为我是第一个在贸易上挑战中国的总统,”他在联合国安理会发表讲话时说。他没有提供任何证据,似乎主要是在抱怨中国政府的报复性关税,这可能会伤害支持他的选民,还有中国在艾奥瓦州一家报纸上发表的一篇推广美中贸易的软文
In a speech to the Hudson Institute on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence doubled down on the accusation, arguing that China “has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections.” Neither the president nor the vice president charged China with stealing and releasing politically sensitive emails or manipulating social media, as the Russian government appears to have done to sway the 2016 presidential election.
上周四在哈德逊研究所(Hudson Institute)的一次演讲中,副总统迈克·彭斯(Mike Pence)重申了指控,认为中国“发起了一项前所未有的行动,以求影响美国公众舆论、2018年选举,以及2020年总统大选之前的环境。”总统和副总统都没有指责中国窃取和发布政治敏感的电子邮件或操纵社交媒体,正如俄罗斯政府似乎为影响2016年的总统大选所做的。
And the Chinese government has not yet tried to use cyberspace to disrupt American elections, it seems. Yet the threat is real.
中国政府尚未尝试利用网络空间来干扰美国的选举。但威胁是真实的。
China has both the playbook and the capacity to interfere. Chinese entities operating with the assent of the government in Beijing already have mounted long-running cyberespionage campaigns against United States government agencies, the defense industry and American private companies. And they have conducted disruptive cyberattacks on political processes and social media campaigns in targets the Chinese government considers internal: Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
中国既有战术又有干涉能力。在北京政府认可下行动的中国企业已经开展了针对美国政府机构、国防工业和美国私营公司的长期网络间谍活动。对于中国政府视为本国范围内的目标——西藏、香港和台湾——他们已经在发起针对政治进程的干扰性网络攻击以及社交媒体宣传。
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In 2012, during a wave of self-immolations by Tibetans protesting Chinese repression, online discussions using the hashtag #FreeTibet were often drowned out by bots and fake Twitter accounts. It is difficult to tie Beijing directly to the bots, but there is good reason to suspect a connection given that government-supported hackers have targeted Tibetan activists and exiles before then and since.
2012年,在藏人抗议中国镇压的自焚浪潮中,使用#FreeTibet(解放西藏)标签的在线讨论经常被网络机器人和虚假的Twitter账户淹没。将北京直接与那些机器人联系起来会很困难,但是有充分的理由怀疑,政府支持的黑客在之前和之后都曾针对西藏活动人士和流亡者。
During the 2014 Umbrella Movement, a series of protests calling for more direct democracy in Hong Kong, Chinese hackers with suspected ties to intelligence agencies infected the devices of activists with spyware. They also conducted denial-of-service attacks on Apple Daily, a newspaper critical of Beijing, and on an academic website that was carrying out a civic referendum about expanding voting rights in Hong Kong.
2014年的雨伞运动是一系列呼吁在香港实现更直接民主的抗议活动,期间被怀疑与情报机构有关的中国黑客用间谍软件入侵了活动人士的设备。他们还对批评北京的报纸《苹果日报》以及就扩大香港投票权举行公投的学术网站进行了拒绝服务攻击。
Chinese hackers have often used Taiwan to test cyber espionage techniques that are later deployed against other targets, and they appear to being doing the same with online influence operations.
中国黑客经常使用台湾来测试随后会用来针对其他目标部署的网络间谍技术,至于在线影响操作方面,他们似乎也会这样做。
Beijing is suspected of being behind a disinformation campaign last year that claimed that the government of President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan. was planning to strictly regulate Buddhist and Taoist temples and ban the burning of incense. The government denied having any such intentions, but temple owners from across the island held protests in Taipei, believing the fake policy announcement.
北京涉嫌在背后主持去年的虚假信息宣传,该宣传声称台湾总统蔡英文的政府计划严格规范佛教寺庙和道教道观,禁止烧香。政府否认有任何此类意图,但岛内的寺庙所有者相信了这个虚假的政策声明,在台北举行抗议活动。
In July, the website of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party was hacked. Legislators from the party have complained about the proliferation of online trolling and fake news campaigns originating from China in the run-up to local elections — and ahead of Taiwan’s 2020 presidential race.
7月,执政的民进党的网站被黑客入侵。来自该党的立法者抱怨,在地方选举前——以及在台湾2020年总统大选之前——来自中国的钓鱼网址和假新闻活动激增。
Seen from Beijing’s vantage point, these operations are responses to internal threats. And so far China doesn’t seem to have intervened in another country’s elections through online attacks.
站在北京的角度来看,这些行动是对内部威胁的回应。到目前为止,中国似乎没有通过网络攻击干预另一个国家的选举。
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Perhaps this is because it has other means of influence at its disposal. Money, political and academic exchanges, the mobilization of Chinese communities overseas, the expanding reach of state media — all have been effective ways of promoting China’s interests abroad.
也许这是因为它有其他影响力手段。金钱、政治和学术交流、海外华人社区的动员、国家媒体的扩大——这些都是促进中国海外利益的有效途径。
Compared with their Russian counterparts, Chinese intelligence officers historically have pursued their country’s foreign policy objectives by cultivating long-term relationships rather than through disinformation. Russian operations tend to heighten political divisions to drive a wedge in the target society: Russia-linked bots pushed both pro- and anti-vaccination information in the United States between 2014 and 2017, and a Russian agency with ties to the Kremlin bought Facebook ads about divisive issues such as race, abortion and gender equality ahead of the 2016 election. Chinese operations aim instead to cultivate common interests with powerful actors.
与俄罗斯同行相比,中国情报官员历来通过培养长期关系,而不是通过传播虚假信息来实现国家的外交政策目标。俄罗斯的行动倾向于加剧政治分歧,在其目标社会中插入楔子:在2014年至2017年期间,与俄罗斯有关的网络机器人对支持和反对疫苗接种两方的信息都进行了推动,一个与克里姆林宫有联系的俄罗斯机构在2016年大选前在Facebook上购买了关于种族、堕胎和性别平等等分歧问题的广告。而中国的行动旨在与有权势的行动者培养共同利益
China’s and Russia’s influence techniques differ because their strategic goals do. Both governments may want to weaken the United States and its alliances, but Beijing seems more intent than Moscow on bending institutions to meet its interests: Perhaps it hopes to supplant the current international order, but not by completely disrupting it. For example, Chinese officials have proposed new rules for governing cyberspace, arguing that each country should be able to regulate its internet, free of outside intervention.
中国和俄罗斯的影响力技术因其战略目标而异。两国政府都可能想要削弱美国及其联盟,但北京似乎比莫斯科更倾向于影响对方的机构,以满足其利益:也许它希望取代目前的国际秩序,而不是完全破坏它。例如,中国官员提出了管理网络空间的新规则,认为每个国家都应该在没有外部干预的情况下管理其互联网。
In the past, Beijing has denied claims by the United States government and American cybersecurity firms that it uses the Ministry of State Security, the People’s Liberation Army and private actors for cyber espionage. Anyway, there are no international agreements restricting such spying. Revelations by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that American government agencies have also engaged in hacking only make Washington’s complaints seem hypocritical.
美国政府和美国网络安全公司声称北京利用国家安全部、人民解放军和私人活动者进行网络间谍活动,过去北京一直对此予以否认。毕竟也没有国际协议限制这种间谍活动。前国家安全局承包商爱德华·斯诺登(Edward Snowden)揭露美国政府机构也进行黑客攻击,这只会让华盛顿的抱怨显得虚伪
When Americans accuse the Russian government of meddling, it simply refutes the charges, with little concern about being believable, or anything other than its power relative to Washington’s. Getting caught using cyberattacks to disrupt an election would seriously undermine both Beijing’s narrative that it has an alternative but cooperative model of international governance to offer and its vision of itself as a rising power committed to not interfering in other countries’ internal affairs.
当美国人指责俄罗斯政府进行干涉时,俄罗斯只是驳斥这些指控,几乎不担心自己是否可信,或者它相对于华盛顿的权力之外的其他任何事情。如果北京被抓住利用网络攻击来破坏选举,这会严重破坏它的说法,即它有一种国际治理合作模式的替代选项,以及它作为一个不干涉其他国家内政的崛起大国的形象。
China’s continued restraint, however, is not guaranteed. Beijing has invested heavily in artificial intelligence, big data and other technologies that could boost its ability to manipulate information in the future. There is a growing pushback against all forms of Chinese influence in Australia, Europe, New Zealand and the United States.
然而,很难说中国能否一直保持克制。北京在人工智能大数据和其他技术方面投入了大量资金,可以提高未来操纵信息的能力。在澳大利亚欧洲新西兰美国,人们在不断抵抗各种形式的中国影响。
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In addition, the Chinese leadership increasingly believes that Washington is moving away from a strategy of engaging China toward a policy designed to contain its rise. The loss of traditional means of influence and a more conflictual relationship with liberal democracies may eventually convince Beijing that it stands to gain from resorting to more aggressive methods online.
此外,中国领导人越来越相信,华盛顿正在摆脱接触中国的战略,转而采取遏制其崛起的政策。传统影响力的丧失,以及同自由民主国家日益冲突的关系,可能最终使北京相信,它可以采取更强硬的网络方式,并从中获益。
If so, the tactics it has deployed in Taiwan may provide a model for any operations in the United States. For example, Chinese hackers could steal and release documents and emails from congressional staffers or State Department officials to, say, expose and embarrass supporters of closer relations with Taiwan or critics of America’s allies.
如果是这样,它在台湾部署的战术可能会为它在美国采取的行动提供模型。例如,中国黑客可以窃取和发布国会工作人员或国务院官员的文件和电子邮件,比如可以暴露与台湾关系密切的支持者或美国盟友的批评者,令他们尴尬。
As it watches Washington struggle to find a coherent response to Russian interference in 2016, the Chinese government is likely to think that it could avoid serious repercussions if it ever launched similar cyberattacks in the United States. Were China’s strategic calculations to change, there would be little to stop it from entering the online fray.
北京政府看到华盛顿难以对俄罗斯在2016年的干预做出一致的反应,它可能会认为,如果它在美国发起类似的网络攻击,也可以避免造成严重不良影响。如果中国的战略考量发生变化,没有什么能阻止它采取网络战术。