Cyber relations between the U.S. and China escalated again at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. The discussion began with remarks about Chinese cyber-spying by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. China’s Foreign minister Wang Yi retorted that these accusations were ‘lies and not based on facts.’
Wang continued by pointing out that the issues complicating relations are based on the direct result of U.S. nationalism. Wang stated, “The root cause of all these problems and issues is that the U.S. does not want to see rapid development and rejuvenation of China.” [New York Times]
China Leveraging Technology Industry
The tête-à-tête between the leaders reveals a deeper mistrust between the nations. The U.S. has accused China of economic hegemony in the region. Furthermore, these interests are allegedly being helped through Chinese technology companies like Huawei.
China’s alleged cyber-spying offers the country access to U.S. interests overseas — particularly those in Asia. However, as Huawei’s influence has expanded through market growth, alleged Chinese infiltration has expanded as well.
Cryptocurrencies in the Middle
The divisions between the nations may have led to complexities, but relations between U.S. and Chinese companies involved in the cryptocurrency industry have stabilized. Binance, Bitmain, OKEx, and others are making connections with U.S. investors, led largely by executives like TRON CEO Justin Sun and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.
These connections have led to profitable relationships, and have generated U.S.-based activity in cryptocurrencies. However, if U.S.-China cyber relations continue to erode, these international partnerships stand to suffer.
U.S. lawmakers believe that Chinese cyber companies are being used for nefarious purposes. In such an environment, these companies will certainly struggle to gain regulatory compliance and grow in the U.S. Should the U.S. government limit activity, the budding financial relationships between China and the U.S. may collapse.