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  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 10:49am
NewsChina

US defence chief Hagel accuses China of cyber spying at Singapore forum

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 June, 2013, 1:15pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 June, 2013, 6:17pm

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel on Saturday accused China of waging cyber espionage against the United States, raising pressure on Beijing over the issue ahead of a key summit between their leaders.

The Pentagon chief, speaking at a Singapore security forum attended by senior Chinese military officials, pointedly blamed the Chinese government and armed forces for repeated intrusions into sensitive US information systems.

“The United States has expressed our concerns about the growing threat of cyber intrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military,” he told an annual conference known as the Shangri-La Dialogue.

The United States has expressed our concerns about the growing threat of cyber intrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military

Hagel pressed Beijing to adhere to “international norms of responsible behaviour in cyberspace”, while acknowledging that the establishment of a joint cyber security working group was a positive step in fostering dialogue.

The Singapore conference took place ahead of the June 7-8 meeting between US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in California, the first meeting between the two leaders since Xi took office in March.

Hagel’s remarks came just days after China’s defence ministry dismissed a Pentagon report accusing Chinese hackers of accessing US weapons designs.

“First they underestimate the security defence capabilities of the Pentagon and second they underestimate the intelligence of the Chinese people,” it said.

The report was the most explicit statement yet from Washington that it believes China’s cyber spying is focused on the US government and corporations.

In his speech, Hagel insisted that Washington’s military “rebalance” towards Asia-Pacific – a policy announced at the forum last year by his predecessor Leon Panetta – will not be affected by cuts in US military spending.

He said the US Air Force had allocated 60 per cent of its overseas-based forces to the region including tactical aircraft and bombers.

Hagel added that 2,500 US Marines will eventually be deployed to Australia each year as part of the effort.

Last year, Washington announced a major naval deployment to Asia, including the rotation of up to four Littoral Combat Ships – newly developed vessels designed for coastal operations – to Singapore, a staunch US supporter.

Hagel said Washington remained concerned “over the potential for dangerous miscalculations or crises” arising from competing territorial claims in Asia.

Other defence officials warned the forum against an arms race in Asia, where governments, boosted by stronger economic growth and worried by regional tensions, are modernising their armed forces.

“In order to avoid military modernisation becoming destabilising, there is a need for greater strategic transparency,” Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said.

Hagel announced that he was inviting his counterparts from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to Hawaii next year, which would be the first such meeting hosted by the United States.

Four of Asean’s 10 member states – Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam – are locked in territorial disputes with China.

But smaller Asean member countries like Laos and Cambodia appear to have come under increasing Chinese economic and political influence, partly as a result of foreign aid from Beijing.

Hagel also used the conference to reaffirm Washington’s defence treaty with its former colony the Philippines, which has been the most vocal opponent of Chinese territorial ambitions in the South China Sea.

The Philippines and the United States, whose soldiers fought side by side in the Pacific theatre during the second world war, are bound to help defend each other in case of external attacks under a mutual defence treaty signed in 1951.

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secrets
America needs to stop acting like the victim.
Will.I.Am
Espionage is like prostituiton, almost everybody does it, some more than others but nobody will ever admits to visiting prostitute even when caught red handed.
sudouest
US have just lost the war to China. They know English, but the former knows no Chinese. When Chinese hacks and understands the blueprints, they say : Oh yeah ! When US hacks and understands nothing, they say : What language is this ? Can't they use English ?
And they start making a fuss.
ejmciii
My guess is the CIA, DIA and NSA have a great many people who speak Chinese of various dialects. There are also millions of Chinese-Americans and students who study Chinese. Funny how that works.
crbfile
Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel accusations of China of waging cyber espionage against the United States are entirely correct. An assertion that the USA is waging a cyber espionage war against China would also be entirely correct. Either side that did not pursue such a policy would be stupid. It's really a basic necessity for each country. So, as media consumers we're all getting fluffed by the USA, and we should be annoyed about that.
whymak
Reader richieskerr: Unfortunately, not many readers ask intelligent questions like yours. So media publications keep echoing one another's stories of an expansionist China. Obviously, this bugaboo sells.
When I challenged the story of tanks making meat pies out of students at Tiananmen Square with voluminous documents, including ones from US and Canadian Embassies stating the contrary that no one ever died at the Square, one Chinese American PhD in electrical engineering now residing in Hong Kong retorted angrily, "If EVERYONE says so and New York Times reported it as fact, how dare you contradict this "established" fact with your ESOTERIC OPINION."
Here is another esoteric opinion. Philippines and Japan have territorial disputes with many of their neighbors and not just with China. Why does the press single out China as public enemy #1?
Countries on the losing side of two World Wars had to give up territories. Germany lost land to Poland, its old Prussian capital Koenisberg to Russia and Alsace-Lorraine to France. Austria gave up Tyrol and Trento to Italy. But the US unwisely signed Diaoyu Islands over to Japan, one of many islands stolen from China. Question: Why should Japan, the aggressor-loser of WW II, be rewarded by spoils of previous imperialist wars?
Even more ridiculous, pivot to Asia might mean US having to defend its erstwhile enemy, now with the world's second largest navy, in a military conflict with China.
richieskerr
I do hope the editors can remove my double posting, which occurred when, the airplane I am in hit turbulence at 36,000 feet between Chicago and San Francisco, and I hit the "submit" button twice!
richieskerr
I, very frankly, do not understand why the United States needs to "rebalance" it's global forces positioning 60% in Asia. How would the United States respond, if China had positioned a similar percentage of its global military forces in the Western Hemisphere, in Central, and South America? We can't expect to have as great an influence in Asia, over the longer term as does China. As an American, I question this allocation, which seems to suggest that we expect China to invade its neighbors militarily. We would best ensure our long term interests and friendships in Asia, in partnership, and consultation with China, and other Asian regional powers. We need to try to see the World as China might see it, in order to get a broader understanding of China's views. To the present, military forces have been somewhat skewed against China, so the current upgrading of China's military should be understood in this context. The irony of the current situation, is that it finds parallels in the way we viewed Japan in the years leading up to World War II. This approach completely ignores the history of China. A more unwarranted, and unjustified comparison could not be made.
richieskerr
I, very frankly, do not understand why the United States needs to "rebalance" it's global forces positioning 60% in Asia. How would the United States respond, if China had positioned a similar percentage of its global military forces in the Western Hemisphere, in Central, and South America? We can't expect to have as great an influence in Asia, over the longer term as does China. As an American, I question this allocation, which seems to suggest that we expect China to invade its neighbors militarily. We would best ensure our long term interests and friendships in Asia, in partnership, and consultation with China, and other Asian regional powers. We need to try to see the World as China might see it, in order to get a broader understanding of China's views. To the present, military forces have been somewhat skewed against China, so the current upgrading of China's military should be understood in this context. The irony of the current situation, is that it finds parallels in the way we viewed Japan in the years leading up to World War II. This approach completely ignores the history of China. A more unwarranted, and unjustified comparison could not be made.
fearonjones
maybe there are no victims. or we are all victims?

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