China kept up a steady campaign of hacking in 2012 that included attempts to target US government computer networks, which could provide Beijing a better insight into America's policy deliberations and military capabilities, according to the Pentagon's annual assessment of China's military.
"China is using its computer network exploitation (CNE) capability to support intelligence collection against the US diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial base sectors that support US national defense programs," said the report (PDF) to Congress.
The digital espionage was part of a broader industrial espionage effort that seeks to secure military-related US and Western technology, allowing Beijing to scale back its reliance on foreign arms manufacturers, the report said.
One day later, Beijing dismissed the Pentagon's report that accused it of widespread cyberspying on the US government, rejecting it as an "irresponsible" attempt to drum up fear of China as a military threat."
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