China is spying on the United States to fuel its fast-paced military modernisation programme, according to the Pentagon.
It is the first time Washington has directly accused Beijing of mounting a cyber-espionage campaign.
The US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, David Helvey, said: “China’s military continues to explore the role of military operations in cyberspace as a feature of modern warfare. In addition, in 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the United States government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to China’s government and military organisations.”
The Pentagon also cited progress in Beijing’s effort to develop advanced-technology stealth aircraft and build an aircraft carrier fleet to project power further offshore.
China has dismissed the report as groundless.
The U.S. Defense Department had repeatedly “made irresponsible comments about China’s normal and justified defense build-up and hyped up the so-called China military threat,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
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