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Pentagon Levels Cyberspying Accusations At China

| 7 May 2013 14:50
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Some cyberintrusions can be blamed directly on China's military, according to the Pentagon's report to Congress.

"China is using its computer network exploitation capability to support intelligence collection against the U.S. diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial base sectors that support U.S. national defense programs," claims the Pentagon, in a report prepared and delivered at Congress' behest. This latest accusation alleges that China's government and military are directly involved in cyberespionage, in an effort to acquire technology to fuel China's military modernization. Though China's no newcomer to the cyberspy business, this Pentagon report is the first time accusations have been leveled against Beijing directly for targeting US defense networks.

China has denied the accusations, describing them as groundless and irresponsible. "This is not beneficial to US-China mutual trust and co-operation," says Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. "We are firmly opposed to this and have already made representations to the US side." Hua went on to say that China's defense buildup was intended to protect its national independence and sovereignty. In addition to cyberespionage, the Pentagon report alleges that Chinese ships have been issued antiship cruise missiles, developing their threat capability against American warships. According to the Pentagon, this is the first time the antiship missiles have been deployed with any kind of operational capacity. The 930 mile range of the DF-21D means it can hit targets in the Western Pacific. Other recent Chinese military improvements include stealth aircraft tests and a new aircraft carrier.

The Pentagon report is issued on an annual basis, and has been since the year 2000. China's increasing military capacity and territorial claims - most notably in the Philippines and Japan - have caused Congress considerable concern in recent years. Chinese defense spending is thought to be growing at a rate of 10% annually, inflation-adjusted; there have been some suggestions that actual outlay per annum may be growing at more than 10%. China's most recent military budget announcement, in March 2013, put the total at $114 billion, as compared to US expenditure of more than $500 billion.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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