The Global Times published an editorial in response to a New York Times report that the Obama administration is planning to "retaliate against China for the theft of the personal information of more than 20 million Americans from the database of the Office of Personal Management."
In the editorial, the Global Times highlighted one of the most innovative responses, per the New York Times, which is to find a way to breach China’s Great Firewall. It also quoted an anonymous White House official who said that Washington needs "a full range of tools to tailor a response."
Global Times argued that hacking attacks are usually elusive and hard to trace. Those which were seemingly launched in China might actually have come from another country. Therefore, the White House must take full responsibility if it takes so-called countermeasures against China based on ill-considered and ill-founded assumptions.
The Great Firewall is a State-sponsored Internet management system. If U.S. cyber forces launch blatant attacks against it, the consequences will be serious. Unlike sneaky hacking, these attacks will be treated as a U.S. invasion of China.
The editorial gave further warnings that, without question, if U.S. cyber forces took the first step, their Chinese counterpart would not stand aside and do nothing. There would be a tit-for-tat cyber conflict.
Citing the New York Times article, Global Times was quick to point out U.S. "hypocrisy": U.S. intelligence officials say that the U.S. has placed "thousands of implants in Chinese computer networks to warn of impending attacks." Thus, it seems that it is the U.S. that keeps posing threats to Chinese cyberspace.
Sources: Global Times, August 3, 2015
NY Times, August 1, 2015