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China’s military has been engaged in large-scale cyberattacks on U.S. government and corporate computer networks for more than a decade, according to Obama administration and congressional security officials.

During a press conference after the Hagel speech, Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Chang Wanquan denied that China’s military engages in any cyber espionage or cyber military operations against the U.S.

“On cyberspace, China adheres to the principle of peace, security, openness, and cooperation,” Gen. Chang said. “The defense activity of the [People’s Liberation Army] in cyberspace abides by the domestic law and the universally recognized law. It will not pose a threat to others.”

The general’s comment, however, was a rare public acknowledgement that China has a secret cyber warfare program run by the military.

Former State Department official John Tkacik questioned the Pentagon’s release of cyber warfare data to China in the briefing.

“I can’t see any useful outcomes of a unilateral sharing of cyber doctrine with any Chinese entity,” Mr. Tkacik said, noting that the Pentagon’s most recent budget identified China’s emerging cyber warfare capabilities as one the new challenges facing the military.

Seeking Chinese cooperation by offering the cyber war briefing as a concession “betrays the most dangerous sort of naivet on the part of the Pentagon and any diplomats who recommended it,” he added.

Mr. Tkacik also said Congress has restricted information the Pentagon is permitted to share with China to make sure such exchanges do not undermine U.S. national security. The law “by any definition, covers cyber warfare,” he said.

Despite Mr. Hagel’s effort to curry favor with the Chinese, Beijing’s most senior military leader criticized the defense secretary for comments he made about China’s maritime bullying during earlier stops in Hawaii and Japan.

“The Chinese people, including myself, are dissatisfied with such remarks,” said Gen. Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission.

RUSSIA’S ICBM WARNING

Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned Ukraine’s government this week not to sell technology that is used in Russia’s most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, the 10-warhead SS-18 Mod 5.

The April 7 statement said there had been negotiations between Ukraine’s state-owned Yuzhmash missile manufacturer and unspecified foreign buyers for “the sale of the technology for the production of heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles.”

The factory in question at Dnipropetrovsk, southeast of Kiev, has long been a source of missile technology for the Chinese military.

A Defense Intelligence Agency report disclosed by The Washington Times on May 20, 1996, revealed that China and then-newly independent Ukraine had concluded a space cooperation agreement that U.S. intelligence agencies believed was part of covert efforts to gain access to SS-18 technology for China’s missile and space launcher programs.

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