Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unleashed some of the strongest words to date about China’s hacking of U.S. computers.
China is “trying to hack into everything that doesn’t move” in the United States, Clinton said, accusing the Chinese of stealing information from both businesses and government agencies.
China is suspected of the recent theft of the personal data of about 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees who were affected by a cyber breach at the Office of Personnel Management.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told an intelligence conference last month that the Chinese are “the leading suspect” in the massive hack of the OPM.
“They’re also trying to hack into everything that doesn’t move in America,” Clinton said at a campaign event in Glen, New Hampshire. “Stealing commercial secrets, blueprints from defense contractors, stealing huge amounts of government information. All looking for an advantage.”
Clinton said America’s response to China’s rise will determine much of the future for the United States and the world.
“I want to see a peaceful rise for China,” Clinton said. “I worked very hard on that as secretary of state, I will continue to do so. But we also have to be fully vigilant that China’s military is growing very quickly and they are establishing military installations that again threaten countries we have treaties with, like the Philippines, because they are building on contested property.”
Clinton was referring to China’s building of manmade islands in disputed waters.