I've mentioned over the years the difficulty official Chinese spokesmen frequently have in engaging outside-world opinion. The heart of the difficulty is that it is too easy to confuse a real, hyper-earnest government response with what the Onion would say.
Judge this one for yourself. The Chinese government assures us
that it "never" condones cyber attacks, that it "always" cracks down on cyber crimes, and that it bans "any" such unwholesome activities. OK.
There's an ongoing discussion of the reported attacks, and America's options for response, at the ChinaFile site
of the Asia Society.
also this important item
at Quartz on the Chinese government's reported decision to tax carbon emissions. As I was arguing yesterday
, what China does or doesn't do on the environment really matters more to everyone than cyber-combat of any kind. For years it has resisted taking steps on carbon when the United States, already so much richer, says that it can't afford to do so. Details are still to be clarified, but this could be significant.
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is a national correspondent for The Atlantic
and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. He and his wife, Deborah Fallows, are the authors of the new book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America,
which has been a New York Times
best seller and is the basis of a forthcoming HBO documentary.