In a bid to have world-leading cyber-warfare capability, China is reported to have redirected as much as 20 to 30 percent more funding to cyber-warfare than in previous years as part of a long term commitment to redress its failure to keep pace with the US according to US intelligence officials quoted by both Business Insider and Homeland Security Newswire.
Spending could increase by hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars as part of an overall 10 percent increase in defence spending from US $143.6 billion last year.
“They have stolen hundreds of billions of dollars of intellectual property from US businesses and continue to commit this theft,” HSN quoted US Kansas representative Mike Pompeo as saying, suggesting a combined military and civil agenda. It also cited a state-run Chinese media site report saying: “(President) “Xi Jinping encouraged the army to change fixed mindsets on mechanised warfare and create a concept of information warfare, as the country faces escalating tensions on intelligence issues with other countries.” It was also speculated that the move may be a reaction to NSA intelligence details leaked by Snowden in 2013.
The US military is currently seeking US$5.5 billion for its 2016 cyber-security budget thus the leaking of such details may also be seen as part of that process.
As with all international military intelligence claims and counter claims, a game of bluff and disinformation runs alongside very real expenditures and capabilities, with both exaggeration and hiding of true capabilities and expenditure, thus it is virtually impossible to have verified real expenditure - but it will be no surprise that cyber-expenditure is likely to increase disproportionatly as a proportion of defence expenditure.