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US & China Held Secret Cyber War Games

American and Chinese cyber-relations are on the frosty side, when it comes to accusations of hacking email accounts, industrial espionage, web censorship, Google and a range of other issues.

In fact, the US (and UK) has been increasing pressure on China recently, claiming that the country is potentially responsible for the cyber-theft of billions - in terms of intellectual property from private companies, and government departments.

China, for its part, denies involvement in such action, and says that it's a victim of cyber-attacks just as much as any other nation.

However, according to a Guardian report, the two nations have at least put some of their differences aside, to organise two test cyber-war exercises. These were conducted with the express aim of defusing some of the building tension, between the two nations.

Both simulations involved high-ranking State department and Pentagon officials, and their Chinese equivalents. They imagined a major virus attack, along the lines of Stuxnet, and described their respective reactions. In the second exercise, the attack was confirmed to be coming from the opposite side.

The idea was to observe and learn from each other's reactions, in order to help prevent a military escalation should this incident happen for real, and the affected country suspected the other side of involvement.

The meetings took place last year, in both Beijing and Washington, and a further exercise is planned for next month.

Jim Lewis, a senior fellow and director at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies think-tank, commented: "The two war games have been quite amazing. The first one went well, the second one not so well."

"The Chinese are very astute. They send knowledgeable people. We want to find ways to change their behaviour ... [but] they can justify what they are doing. Their attitude is, they have experienced imperialism and they had a century of humiliation."

Source: The Guardian (opens in new tab)

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.