As Chinese President Xi Jinping prepares to meet with President Barack Obama next week in California to discuss what Jinping calls “a new type of great power relationship,” the Washington Post is reporting that Chinese hackers have accessed designs for advanced U.S. military technology.
Details of the Patriot missile system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), the Navy’s Aegis ballistic-missile defense system, the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-2 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter, the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship, and the most expensive weapons system ever devised, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, whose projected cost is $1.4 trillion, were all suspected to be compromised.
“That’s staggering,” said Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute on Asia security issues. “These are all very critical weapons systems, critical to our national security. When I hear this in totality, it’s breathtaking.”
The Obama Administration’s reserved response to the report has been startlingly soft.
“We’ve been clear in our concern about cyber-security, and our concern about the fact that there have been cyber-intrusions emanating from China,” said Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney.
Senior military officials are outraged.
“This is billions of dollars of combat advantage for China,” one official told the Washington Post. “They’ve just saved themselves 25 years of research and development. It’s nuts.”
The Chinese government denies that it engages in cyber-espionage against the United States.