After Hagel Slaps China, China Slaps Back

Defense chief calls out Beijing on cyber espionage

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 1, 2013 6:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – When defense chief Chuck Hagel blamed China yesterday for cyberattacks in the US, it didn't sit well with some Beijing officials in the audience at a Singapore summit. "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," said Hagel, following what the Washington Post calls the new US strategy of calling out Beijing publicly on cyber-spying. “We are determined to work more vigorously with China and other partners to establish international norms of responsible behavior in cyberspace."

After he spoke, a Chinese general got up and delivered what both the Post and the AP describe as a "wry" retort. "Thank you for mentioning China several times," said Maj. Gen. Yao Yunzhu, her comment drawing chuckles and murmurs. She then called attention to the growing US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region and said Washington makes the case that it is not intended to counter Beijing. "China is not convinced," she said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivers his keynote address at a summit in Singapore.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivers his keynote address at a summit in Singapore.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
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