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An Abney Associates Tech Tips China vents outrage over U.S. cyberspying indictment
The U.S. charges are certain to strain Washington’s military relationship with China, which the Pentagon made a concerted effort to build up in recent years. A Pentagon spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Tuesday that the Defense Department had been aware of the impending charges and hoped that they would not stymie cooperation on various fronts.

“The degree to which this affects the relationship is up to the Chinese,” Kirby said, noting that Washington’s military relationship with Beijing has been built in “fits and starts.”

U.S. defense officials have portrayed the relationship in recent weeks as being on the upswing. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited Beijing for the first time in his current job last month and said he was heartened by the frank discussions he held with the country’s defense chiefs. Just days before the indictments were unsealed, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hosted his counterpart, Gen. Fang Fenghui, at the Pentagon for the latest in a series of high-level visits.

Dempsey said the two leaders had mapped out possible steps they could take to build trust and avoid miscalculations, including by establishing a secure video conference system that would allow them to consult regularly.

“All these initiatives are intended to continue to build a positive relationship, help us manage risk and reduce the chance of misunderstanding,” Dempsey said during a joint news conference last week.