China could destroy entire internet if war with West erupted, UK spy chief warns

China could destroy the internet – and the entire infrastructure of the world along with it – an expert has claimed.

Security experts have long warned about the impact a vengeful China could have in the event of war.

And it's ability to destroy the internet could be their biggest weapon.

According to the deputy director of strategy at GCHQ, who only gives her name as Ann S, who was speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival: “We in the West have been fortunate that a lot of the technology which has driven the internet has been informed by Western liberal values, democratic values, but that is not going to be the picture going forward.

“So we can see that there is a big shift to the East.

“There is a potential clash of values there.”

No details on exactly how China could destroy the internet, or what the context of the conversation was – and only a small group of invitees were allowed into the session.

However, military experts in China have advised Xi Jinping's military to build 'anti-satellite' capabilities capable of taking out Elon Musk's Starlink internet satellites, should they ever pose a threat to the country.

A paper published last month by military researchers in Beijing said China needs a surveillance system to keep track of every single Starlink satellite, of which there are thousands in orbit.

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The study, led by Ren Yuanzhen, was academic and it isn't clear how much it represents official policy from the Chinese government or military.

The report said: "A combination of soft and hard kill methods should be adopted to make some Starlink satellites lose their functions and destroy the constellation's operating system."

Starlink is SpaceX's ambitious high-speed satellite internet programme which uses orbital 'constellations' of tiny satellites to deliver connectivity to remote areas.

SpaceX deployed thousands of Starlink terminals in Ukraine after Russia invaded in an attempt to keep the country online.

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