Beset on all sides by great powers, sophisticated operators, and clashing agendas, Snowden, like his perhaps new Wikileaks patron Julian Assange before him, seems like a character in a cyberpunk novel.
We now know the reality that both countries engage in extensive cyber-hacking and are each victims of the other's attacks. The good news is that it has now become possible for the U.S. and China to develop a frank, realistic and shared analysis of the threat posed by cyberespionage
The Obama administration's geopolitical pivot to the Asia-Pacific seems more than a little stuck between moves. Already slowed by the long goodbye of the Afghan War, the strategy is threatened by the prospect of Syria spinning up into a much wider war.
Snowden's revelations have dramatically undercut Washington's effort to corner Beijing on the issue. They allow Xi to counter Obama's complaints by saying that the rest of the world, including China, is a potential victim of this massive and formerly secret American cyber-surveillance program.