The Pentagon this week issued its most direct acknowledgment to date of the serious threat that Chinese hackers pose to American security and industry. The new report details the systematic thievery of trade and technology secrets and even hints that the Chinese government and its People’s Liberation Army are behind most cyber attacks on US interests. And it lays bare what is truly at stake: America’s capacity to innovate and, in turn, its economic competitive advantage. A coordinated effort both to put pressure on China to end cyber espionage and protect US networks must be pursued.
Chinese officials have denied any state policy of industrial espionage, suggesting they are as much victims as the United States. The Obama administration has rightfully pushed back against such claims, and officials have traveled to Beijing to press the message that the White House is running out of patience.