U.S. Wants to Advance
Military Relations With China Despite Hacking Incident
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C.
Marshall Jr., American Forces Press Service.
Washington D.C. – (AFPS)
– May 20, 2014 – A day after the Justice Department charged five members of
China’s military with hacking into computer networks of American companies, a
Defense Department spokesman said the Pentagon wants to continue developing
military relations with Beijing.
“We still desire, from a military perspective, to further
grow and develop the military-to-military relationship and to find ways to have
a more productive conversation about these very tough issues,” Pentagon Press
Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters today. “Cyber’s one of them.”
Kirby added, however, that military relations must be based on trust.
“There are plenty of issues that we disagree on and it’s fair
to say … that cyber’s one of those issues that we don’t see eye-to-eye on in
every aspect,” he added.
Yet, this is all the more reason, Kirby said, to keep the
military communications open and to continue to work on the relationship.
The admiral said while Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has not
spoken to his Chinese counterpart regarding the indictment, cyber is a topic
that the United States routinely discusses with Chinese authorities including
during the secretary’s visit to China in April.
To the degree that the indictment will affect the two
nation’s mil-to-mil relations, Kirby said “that’s a decision that the Chinese
have got to make.” “The degree to which it affects our military relationship is
largely up to them, and their conduct and their behavior,” Kirby said. “We still
believe that it’s an important relationship to have; we still want to keep the
lines of communication open.”
The criminal charges against five members of the People’s
Liberation Army marked the first time that the United States has moved to
directly confront China about its alleged cyber hacking of commercial computer
networks. “I understand that yesterday they announced that they pulled out of
the cyber working group -- that’s regrettable,” Kirby said. “But this is a tough
issue we don’t always agree on. It’s one that we’ve got to keep the dialogue and
the conversations open on. And the secretary firmly believes in still doing that.”
Kirby noted that with countries like China that are active in
cyber, “We want to continue to have as open [and] as transparent a conversation
about it as possible.” “You can’t surge trust,” Kirby said. “You have to build
it over time.”
(Follow Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone
Marshall on Twitter: @MarshallAFPS) :
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