In my post Review of Dragon Bytes Posted I wrote the following to summarize analysis of Chinese thoughts on cyberwar, as translated from original Chinese publications:
The Chinese military sees Western culture, particularly American culture, as an assault on China, saying "the West uses a system of values (democracy, freedom, human rights, etc.) in a long-term attack on socialist countries...
Marxist theory opposes peaceful evolution, which... is the basic Western tactic for subverting socialist countries" (pp 102-3). They believe the US is conducting psychological warfare operations against socialism and consider culture as a "frontier" that has extended beyond American shores into the Chinese mainland.
The Chinese therefore consider control of information to be paramount, since they do not trust their population to "correctly" interpret American messaging (hence the "Great Firewall of China"). In this sense, China may consider the US as the aggressor in an ongoing cyberwar.
Today's Reuters article China PLA officers call Internet key battleground elaborated on these ideas:
The essay by two PLA scholars, Senior Colonel Ye Zheng and his colleague Zhao Baoxian, in the China Youth Daily nonetheless stressed that Beijing is focused on honing its cyber-warfare skills, and sees an unfettered Internet as a threat to its Communist Party-run state.
"Just as nuclear warfare was the strategic war of the industrial era, cyber-warfare has become the strategic war of the information era, and this has become a form of battle that is massively destructive and concerns the life and death of nations," they wrote in the Party-run paper...
"Cyberware [sic] is an entirely new mode of battle that is invisible and silent, and it is active not only in wars and conflicts, but also flares in the everyday political, economic, military, cultural and scientific activities."
The first highlight makes me think the Chinese see the current cyberwar as being similar to the Cold War. During the Cold War, nuclear warfare (or avoiding it) was the strategic form of war. During the current "Electronic War" (my term, not sure I like it), cyberwar is the strategic form of war.
The second highlight shows that the Chinese see cyberwar as being active right now, and "not only in wars and conflicts." By "wars and conflicts" they mean physical combat.
The AP article China Calls US Culprit in Global 'Internet War' contained a few more choice quotes:
Writing in the Communist Party-controlled China Youth Daily newspaper, the scholars did not mention Google's claims, but said recent computer attacks and incidents employing the Internet to promote regime change in Arab nations appeared to have originated with the U.S. government.
"Of late, an Internet tornado has swept across the world ... massively impacting and shocking the globe. Behind all this lies the shadow of America," said the article, signed by Ye Zheng and Zhao Baoxian, identified as scholars with the Academy of Military Sciences.
"Faced with this warmup for an Internet war, every nation and military can't be passive but is making preparations to fight the Internet war," it said...
China needs to "express to the world its principled stance of maintaining an 'Internet border' and protecting its 'Internet sovereignty,' unite all advanced forces to dive into the raging torrent of the age of peaceful use of the Internet, and return to the Internet world a healthy, orderly environment," the article said.
As you can see, the Chinese think an information war is already being waged. The US started it, and the US continues it (in the Chinese view) as demonstrated by turbulence in the Middle East.
China's view is more important than yours, because China is acting on its view while too many in the West and the US in particular argue about whether or not a cyberwar is happening. The Chinese believe cyberwar is ongoing, and that the US started it. From what I can tell, the Chinese intend to win it.