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U.S. Defense Secretary Warns China On Cyberattacks


U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (file photo)
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said he hopes for improved military relations with China but also warned Beijing on cyberattacks.

Hagel was speaking at a security conference in Singapore on June 1.

He said Washington had expressed concerns about the growing cyberthreat, some of which, Hagel said, appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military.

"It's not quite as easy as the days when you could identify a navy sailing across the ocean to attack you or an army crossing a border to attack you, you knew whose army that was. This is different," Hagel told participants at the Shangri-La Dialogue. "This is also one of these situations -- it puts at risk dangerous miscalculations and mistakes as to who was behind an attack."

Hagel also assured Asian states that despite sharp budget cuts, the Pentagon would continue to shift its military troops, ships, and aircraft to the Pacific region.

The Singapore security forum comes ahead of a June 7-8 meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in California, the two leaders' first meeting since Xi took office in March.

Based on AP and AFP reporting