"Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN
Fareed speaks with Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass and former CIA Director Michael Hayden about the latest claims over China’s alleged hacking activities. To see this or other interviews, download the show at iTunes
The China hacking story. This is pretty serious, don't you think?
Haass: Oh, absolutely. It raises real fundamental questions about China's commitment to the rule of law internationally. It’s a form of espionage. It’s a form of economic warfare. It could also be in some ways, targeting, potentially, vulnerabilities in American society. So should the United States and China ever have a crisis, China could either threaten to do certain things or actually do certain things, say, against the American electricity grid or against the American financial system.
And these people aren’t freelancing. You know China as well as anybody. These people are clearly operating with the tolerance of the Communist Party in China, under the authority of the People’s Liberation Army. This is serious and I think the Chinese are underestimating the impact this is having about the nature of the relationship.
This sends a message to Americans across the board that this relationship is not what it should be if China is treating us in this way, essentially going after our information and going after potential vulnerabilities in our system, stealing our intellectual property. This is not how you act if you want to talk about words like partnership.
Mike, the Chinese will say in response – or some Chinese will say – look, you guys do it, too. You know, why are you getting so heated up? You know, you ran the CIA and the NSA. What would be your response to them?
Hayden: Right. I freely admit that all nations spy. All nations conduct espionage. But some nations, nations like ours, self-limit. We steal other nation’s secrets to keep Americans safe and free. We don’t do it to make Americans rich or to make American industry profitable. And what the Chinese are doing is industrial espionage, trade secrets, negotiating positions, stealing that kind of information on an unprecedented scale for Chinese economic advantage. And that’s why I think our response should be in the economic zone. We need to make Chinese cyber behavior part of the overall portfolio of Sino-American relations and we need to begin to exact a price on the Chinese in the economic sphere for what it is they’re doing to us.