Hagel points out “growing threat” of cyberattacks; China says they’re “not convinced”

posted at 6:31 pm on June 2, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Typical.

At a summit on Saturday, Secretary Hagel mentioned the increasingly dangerous battles taking place on the cyber frontier (alluding to the fact that many of them are being instigated by the Chinese government), as well as the United States’ ‘strategic pivot’ to Asia, as reasons why the U.S. and China need to establish a closer working relationship and nail down some basic ground rules. Via the NYT:

In remarks directed at China, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke Saturday of a “growing threat” of cyberattacks against the United States and called on America and its allies to “establish international norms of responsible behavior in cyberspace.”

Speaking to an audience of defense analysts and defense ministers from Asia and Europe at the annual conference of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mr. Hagel said the United States was “cleareyed about the challenges in cyber.”

“The United States has expressed our concerns about the growing threat of cyberintrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military,” he said in a speech largely devoted to the Obama administration’s defense posture in Asia. At the same time, Mr. Hagel emphasized the need for more talks between the American and Chinese militaries to build trust and reduce the risk of miscalculation at a time of mounting rivalry.

A representative from China, as ever, didn’t take too well to that. She insisted that China isn’t at all convinced the United States wants a “comprehensive” working relationship and is only out to contain China’s oh-so-glorious and pending military rise (a subject about which they’re especially touchy — they’ve been increasing defense spending in recent years hand over fist to try and catch up with us in military might):

Maj. Gen. Yao Yunzhu, director of the Center for China-America Defense Relations at the People’s Liberation Army’s Academy of Military Science, challenged Hagel to better explain America’s intentions for its military buildup across the region. …

She said the Obama administration’s new focus on the Pacific has been widely interpreted as an “attempt to counter China’s rising influence and to offset the increasing military capabilities of the Chinese PLA. However, China is not convinced.”

She asked Hagel how he can assure China that the increased U.S. deployments to the region are part of an effort to build a more positive relationship with Beijing.

“That’s really the whole point behind closer military-to-military relationships,” Hagel responded. “We don’t want miscalculations and misunderstandings and misinterpretations. And the only way you do that is you talk to each other.”

Even if the United States is trying to kill several geopolitical birds with one strategic stone, I’d bet on China continuing to do everything they can and think up excuses to wriggle out of any agreements and confrontations about locking down cyber-intrusion — they’re plenty aware that it’s one of their best chances to catch up to the United States’ defensive swagger. President Obama has his big summit with China’s president next weekend in California, but I can’t say I’m counting on anything substantive coming out of it on the cyber-warfare front.


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Another Obama failure and could be the worst of all.

CW on June 2, 2013 at 6:34 PM

How did this genuinely stupid reprobate end up in this position of power?

tom daschle concerned on June 2, 2013 at 6:40 PM

To make a generalization, the Chinese think long-term. I can only imagine their behind-closed-doors opinion of our President.

Drained Brain on June 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Hagel’s still on the learning curve, I see.

Curtiss on June 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

To be fair, the Chinese were stealing U.S. technical and military secrets during the Bush Administration too.

bw222 on June 2, 2013 at 6:43 PM

I could be wrong on this (since the details seem to be classified), but I get the distinct impression that, while the US military has a world-beating cyber capability, the Chinese are basically targeting civilians. Unable to compete military-to-military in a cyber cold-war, they are effectively running to the terrorist track, attacking soft targets.
Anybody got information to contradict that?

Count to 10 on June 2, 2013 at 6:45 PM

To make a generalization, the Chinese think long-term. I can only imagine their behind-closed-doors opinion of our President.

Drained Brain on June 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

It’s not hard to have a longer attention span than America, but Asians in general know much better how to play for the long game. They didn’t accidentally figure out how to sucker the West into scrapping their own production capacity in favor of lead-poisoned plasticr@p.

Behind closed doors? They’re laughing so hard tea is coming out their noses. We’ve re-elected the biggest fool in our history after four painful years of economic and social destruction.

Hagel’s still on the learning curve, I see.

Curtiss on June 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

More like on the left third of the Bell Curve along with the rest of his voting bloc. “Learning” is an alien concept to him, Obama, the Obama’s stash lady…

MelonCollie on June 2, 2013 at 6:47 PM

How did this genuinely stupid reprobate end up in this position of power?

tom daschle concerned on June 2, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Because, to Obama’s team, those are features, not bugs.

Count to 10 on June 2, 2013 at 6:49 PM

How did this genuinely stupid reprobate end up in this position of power?

tom daschle concerned on June 2, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Obama surrounds himself with such people.

Curtiss on June 2, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Clinton knew some chicoms didn’t he? Year of the rat?

wolly4321 on June 2, 2013 at 7:03 PM

I heard the other day somebody suggest we offer Letters of Marque to our own hackers. That sounds like a good idea to me.

trigon on June 2, 2013 at 7:04 PM

To make a generalization, the Chinese think long-term. I can only imagine their behind-closed-doors opinion of our President.

Drained Brain on June 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

I’d say this comes pretty close.

NavyMustang on June 2, 2013 at 7:07 PM

I heard the other day somebody suggest we offer Letters of Marque to our own hackers. That sounds like a good idea to me.

trigon on June 2, 2013 at 7:04 PM

We should have been doing this in the WoT the day the Towers burned, and it wouldn’t hurt now either. Somebody forward this to Rand Paul already!

MelonCollie on June 2, 2013 at 7:08 PM

OT – two clusterhucked USA-haters

Schadenfreude on June 2, 2013 at 7:10 PM

To make a generalization, the Chinese think long-term. I can only imagine their behind-closed-doors opinion of our President.

Drained Brain on June 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

This says it all: China Conducts Test of New Anti-Satellite Missile

“Defense officials disclosed to the Free Beacon that the DN-2 test was initially planned for last fall, but was delayed by the Chinese over concerns that the test would upset President Barack Obama’s reelection bid.”

slickwillie2001 on June 2, 2013 at 7:31 PM

OT – two clusterhucked USA-haters

Schadenfreude on June 2, 2013 at 7:10 PM

From that link:

Rubin was the State Department’s chief spokesman under President Bill Clinton. Before entering government, he was a journalist and a professor.

Rubin led the Port Authority’s security committee and was a member of its operations committee. Cuomo also appointed him as a counselor to the state’s Empire State Development Corporation.

What, if anything, in God’s name, does being a professional egghead have to do with heading up security at the Port Authority? If I lived anywhere near the region where the PA operates, I’d be livid. This seems akin to appointing Richard Simmons as head of DHS. It’s a big enough joke having Frank Luntz’s twin sister heading up DHS.

BuckeyeSam on June 2, 2013 at 7:36 PM

http://books.google.com/books/about/Year_of_the_rat.html?id=gU9LENYU_lUC.

Let me know when Hagel meets the CEO of google.

He’s out of the loop. He’s a stooge.

Clinton laid the foundation long ago.

wolly4321 on June 2, 2013 at 7:36 PM

I heard the other day somebody suggest we offer Letters of Marque to our own hackers. That sounds like a good idea to me.

trigon on June 2, 2013 at 7:04 PM

I heard someone say that too. And it wasn’t some crackpot. I thought at the time, “Hey, if he’s suggesting it, why aren’t we doing that?”

I just did a quick Internet search. I’m not sure, but it may have been a guy at one of the conservative think takes–I think it was AEI.

BuckeyeSam on June 2, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Hagel strikes me as the Ted Baxter of national security.

BuckeyeSam on June 2, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Hagel strikes me as the Ted Baxter of national security.

BuckeyeSam on June 2, 2013 at 7:42 PM

…and we will have to thank all the Republican Senator Ted Baxter’s…for confirming him!

KOOLAID2 on June 2, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Someone should hand this stooge a copy of Tom Clancy’s Threat Vector.

CanuckInPA on June 2, 2013 at 9:29 PM

…and we will have to thank all the Republican Senator Ted Baxter’s…for confirming him!

KOOLAID2 on June 2, 2013 at 8:07 PM

I think the Senate needs to pick its battle. I think they should save their ammo for this Labor secretary nominee and, more important, SCOTUS appointments.

BuckeyeSam on June 2, 2013 at 10:03 PM

With another 8 years of a. Clinton in White House chinas rise will be complete.
Put trump inn there and let him shake up things!

losarkos on June 2, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Wait…China has female major generals?
You’ve come a long way, baby.

connertown on June 2, 2013 at 10:37 PM

I’m thinking about a community organizer from Chicago matching wits with the best China, a nation of over a billion people, has to offer – the guy who rose to the top in the most vicious political arena in the world short of the Soviet Union (sorry, I meant “Russia”).

Yeah, we are screwed.

WitchDoctor on June 2, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Hagel reminds me of a human version of Patrick Star, and about as smart.

Wanderlust on June 3, 2013 at 3:03 AM

Does anyone seriously doubt that the US government is engaged in plenty of its own cyber espionage against China?

DarkCurrent on June 3, 2013 at 4:48 AM

President Obama has his big summit with China’s president next weekend in California, but I can’t say I’m counting on anything substantive coming out of it on the cyber-warfare front.

Summits never are substantive. Anything of importance that would be done at a summit really is the work of underlings for months in advance and announced ahead of time. This is just a meet-and-greet in part to bolster the rat-eared coward’s image as a world leader even as he looks smaller and smaller and has utterly destroyed the prestige of the Presidency.

Happy Nomad on June 3, 2013 at 6:53 AM

How did this genuinely stupid reprobate end up in this position of power?

tom daschle concerned on June 2, 2013 at 6:40 PM

If the NYT and Oprah love you….

IlikedAUH2O on June 3, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Does anyone seriously doubt that the US government is engaged in plenty of its own cyber espionage against China?

DarkCurrent on June 3, 2013 at 4:48 AM

You mean like stealing recipes for their divine vegetable dishes for the Food Network?

Refer to the musical Porgy and Bess and the lyrics to “I got plenty of nothin’”.

I like China but really…get a clue.

IlikedAUH2O on June 3, 2013 at 8:24 AM

We already know the Chinese Military is doing it,& we have identified the building from which they are doing it. An ‘attack’ by a foreign nation’s military in any form or fashion is still an attack on the United States & should be responded to in kind.

The U.S. should immediately inform China that any more cyber attacks on the U.S. will be answered by a military response. That military response should be several TLAM missiles impacting into that very building from which we have determined these cyber attacks are being launched.

easyt65 on June 3, 2013 at 8:49 AM

That military response should be several TLAM missiles impacting into that very building from which we have determined these cyber attacks are being launched.

easyt65 on June 3, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Heh. Dream on. You’re talking about a location in the biggest city of a major nuclear power.

DarkCurrent on June 3, 2013 at 10:09 AM

You mean like stealing recipes for their divine vegetable dishes for the Food Network?

IlikedAUH2O on June 3, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Or maybe say, data on the YJ-12 and stuff.

Get a clue indeed…

DarkCurrent on June 3, 2013 at 2:01 PM