Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

The USS Carl Vinson in the Philippine Sea. Photo: USN Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Z.A. Landers via Getty Images

The U.S. Navy believes the service and its partners have been under a prolonged attack by Chinese hackers dedicated to improving China's military capacity, according to a recent internal review.

Why it matters: China presents a unique threat to the U.S. and its interests, as a foreign power that requires economic and political engagement despite state-sponsored acts of espionage. Bilateral relations remain on unstable ground and this offensive cyber campaign is likely to further exacerbate tensions.

Details: Shortly after the Navy's review concluded, U.S. B-52 bombers flew over hotly contested islands in the South China Sea — an activity that has become routine in recent months. Given the nuclear payload capability of the bombers, Chinese government officials have repeatedly voiced their concerns.

  • Chinese hackers have targeted Flag officers as well as under-sea warfare programs in the past, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said at a conference in Washington, D.C., last week. This increases the need for the security and protection of both systems and personnel. Officials have, however, offered little specificity on the systems under attack and the extent of any breaches.

Between the lines: This kinetic activity comes amid muddled developments in the U.S.–China trade war. Tariffs against China that were due to be doubled never materialized, nor did the deal President Trump promised to close by mid-March with President Xi Jinping.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and its allies are still dealing with the potential T-Mobile–Sprint merger that could allow Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications equipment developer, to gain an even greater market share in handheld devices, placing its technology across the world while leveraging the future 5G network.

The bottom line: The U.S. must help China become a more honest broker while holding it responsible for its continued transgressions — keeping in mind that China's economy, global business interests and close ties with North Korea mean its power will only grow.

Bishop Garrison is the co-founder and president of the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.