Waterlogged paddy fields reflect the sunlight in Jiangping, China. (Photo: Xinhua / Landov / Barcroft Media via The Guardian)
NO FILTER The air pollution levels in the sky over Tiananmen Square in Beijing are seen in this combination picture taken on March 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 15. (Photo: Wei Yao / Reuters via The Telegraph)
The White House demanded Monday that the Chinese government stop the widespread theft of data from American computer networks and agree to “acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace.”
The demand, made in a speech by President Obama’s national security adviser, Tom Donilon, was the first public confrontation with China over cyberespionage and came two days after its foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, rejected a growing body of evidence that his country’s military was involved in cyberattacks on American corporations and some government agencies.
The White House, Mr. Donilon said, is seeking three things from Beijing: public recognition of the urgency of the problem; a commitment to crack down on hackers in China; and an agreement to take part in a dialogue to establish global standards.
“Increasingly, U.S. businesses are speaking out about their serious concerns about sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies through cyberintrusions emanating from China on an unprecedented scale,” Mr. Donilon said in a wide-ranging address to the Asia Society in New York.
“The international community,” he added, “cannot tolerate such activity from any country.”
Until now, the White House has steered clear of mentioning China by name when discussing cybercrime, though Mr. Obama and other officials have raised it privately with Chinese counterparts. In his State of the Union address, he said, “We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets.”
But as evidence has emerged suggesting the People’s Liberation Army is linked to hacking, the China connection has become harder for the administration not to confront head-on. The New York Times three weeks ago published evidence tying one of the most active of the Chinese groups to a neighborhood in Shanghai that is headquarters to a major cyberunit of the People’s Liberation Army. That account, based in large part on unclassified work done by Mandiant, a security firm, echoed the findings of intelligence agencies that have been tracking the Chinese attackers.”
The New York Times, “US Demands China End Hacking and Set Cyber Rules.”
The Chinese response roughly translates to “LOL.”
The United Nations Security Council approved a new regimen of sanctions on Thursday against North Korea for its underground nuclear test last month, imposing penalties on North Korean banking, travel and trade in a unanimous vote that reflected the country’s increased international isolation.
The resolution, which was drafted by the United States and China, was passed 15-0 in a speedy vote hours after North Korea threatened for the first time to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States and South Korea.
“The strength, breadth and severity of these sanctions will raise the cost to North Korea of its illicit nuclear program,” the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Susan E. Rice, told reporters after the vote. “Taken together, these sanctions will bite and bite hard.”
Li Baodong, the ambassador from China, whose support for the new sanctions angered the North Korean government, told reporters the resolution was aimed at the long-term goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
“This resolution is a very important step,” he told reporters. Mr. Li called passage of the resolution “a reflection of the view and determination of the international community.””
You’ll probably never hear “drafted by the United States and China” in re: U.N. sanctions ever again.
WAIT UNTIL SPARK Blacksmiths throw molten metal against a cold stone wall to create sparks during the Lantern Festival, which traditionally marks the end of the lunar new year celebrations, in Nuanquan, China. (Photo: Mark Ralston / AFP-Getty via The Guardian)
This is what happens when an international superpower gets called on the carpet, above the fold.
Since the beginning of this year, the levels of air pollution in Beijing have been dangerously high, with thick clouds of smog chasing people indoors, disrupting air travel, and affecting the health of millions. The past two weeks have been especially bad — at one point the pollution level measured 40 times recommended safety levels. Authorities are taking short-term measures to combat the current crisis, shutting down some factories and limiting government auto usage. However, long-term solutions seem distant, as China’s use of coal continues to rise, and the government remains slow to acknowledge and address the problems. * Starting with photo #2, a four-part set of these images is interactive, allowing you to click the photo and ‘clear the air’, viewing a difference over time.
See more. [Images: AP, Reuters, Getty]
CHOKED UP Haze obscured the Pangu Plaza Office Building in Beijing Saturday. The city has issued its first-ever ‘orange’ fog warning, an alert to the elderly, children and people suffering from respiratory disease to stay indoors and limit exposure to the pollution. (Photo: ChinaFotoPress / Zuma Press via The Wall Street Journal)
It doesn’t get more Blade Runner than this.
In Communist China, they don’t care where you rest in peace… but damn if that’ll stop them from putting up a building around your gravesite.
The sales brochure will no doubt invite prospective tenants to “get their Haley Joel Osment on.”
(Photo of a building site being constructed around an ancestral tomb in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China by John Woo / Reuters via NBC News)
THROWIN’ SHADE Shadows of trees are cast onto a wall of the Forbidden City as a man walks past on a cold, sunny day in Beijing on November 13, 2012. (Photo: David Gray / Reuters via NBC News)
FERTILE SCAR Tourists visited Crescent Lake in Dunhuang, Gansu province, China, Thursday. Dunhuang was a major stop along the ancient Silk Road. (Photo: Zhang Xiaoliang / Xinhua / Zuma Press via The Wall Street Journal)
Over a bunch of rocks in the ocean.
(Photo of a Japanese coast guard vessel, right, spraying water on Taiwanese fishing boats while a Taiwanese coast guard ship, left, also sprays water near the Senkaku islands — the ownership of which is disputed between China and Japan — in the east China Sea — by the Yomiuri Shimbun via AFP-Getty / The Guardian)
OTHERWORLD Ships sail on the Yangtze River near Badong, 62 miles from the Three Gorges dam, in Hubei province, China. (Photo via NBC News)
THE SPARK NIGHT Lightning strikes during a storm over Beijing on Thursday. (Photo: Aly Song / Reuters via The Wall Street Journal)