February 27th, 2013
09:51 AM ET

Hayden: Chinese cyber theft ‘on unprecedented scale’

"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.


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Topics: China • Economy • GPS Show