U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel accused Beijing of involvement in cyber espionage in a speech at a Singapore security forum attended by Chinese military officials.
Stepping up US pressure on China over electronic espionage ahead of a summit between their leaders next week, Hagel pointedly blamed the Chinese government and military for repeated intrusions into sensitive U.S. 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,” Hagel said in prepared remarks delivered at an annual Singapore conference known as the Shangri-La Dialogue.
“As the world’s two largest economies, the U.S. and China have many areas of common interest and concern, and the establishment of a cyber working group is a positive step in fostering US-China dialogue on cyber,” the Pentagon chief said.
“We are determined to work more vigorously with China and other partners to establish international norms of responsible behaviour in cyberspace,” he added.
The Singapore security forum came ahead of the June 7-8 meeting between US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in California, the two leaders’ first meeting since Xi took office in March.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]