China armed forces plan improved cyber security

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China armed forces plan improved cyber security

Accelerated development of local software included in plan.

China's military forces will ramp up their cyber security and speed domestic development of software, the country’s state media said in a statement yesterday.

The plan underscores China's increasingly vocal concern that the internet is dominated by Western powers and values.

"Information security must be considered an underlying project in military battle preparedness," the official People's Liberation Army Daily said.

"We will strongly advance the domestic and independent building of programs, and strengthen the foundations of our information security," it added.

President Xi Jinping, who also heads the military, heads the government’s body for internet security which aims to turn China into a "cyber power".

Foreign technology companies in China face challenges from a sharp decrease in sales linked to increased awareness of cyber security and the role of the US government in cyber espionage.

State media have also criticized American technology firms, in particular, over security concerns.

Cyber security shot into the global spotlight after former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden last year revealed the extent of government spying and surveillance campaigns, including targeting the People's Liberation Army.

Local news outlet Xinhua had previously reported plans for the country to develop its own operating system in a bid to help the country's domestic technology industry catch up with the US. 

China and the United States regularly trade accusations over cyber espionage.

The issue of Chinese state-sponsored hacking is highly sensitive. Tensions between Washington and Beijing have grown since May, when a US grand jury indicted five Chinese military officers on charges they hacked into American companies for sensitive manufacturing secrets. China has denied the charges.

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