Conflict and competition in Asia over cyberspace is part of a larger shift in the international security environment as power is shifting from Europe and America to emerging powers in Asia. Asian societies have been enthusiastic adopters of the internet and have also made it an important vehicle for political expression within and between Asian nations.
Espionage and crime overlap in cyberspace, particularly due to use of proxies. The level of cyber crime is likely to grow in Asia and this will increase instability because of cyber crime's linkage to espionage and military activities. These activities do not constitute war; but cyber-competition can add to the risks of conflict.
It is therefore important to consider possible ways to manage or mitigate the risks of intensified cyber competition or conflict in Asia. These risks can better be managed if cyber conflict is put into a framework of shared understandings on norms of behaviour and the application of international law. Controlling this risk requires establishing rules of the game.