Hagel delivers warning to China

LOLITA C. BALDOR
Associated Press
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U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel listens to the opening address at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-la Dialogue, or IISS Asia Security Summit in Singapore, Friday, May 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

SINGAPORE (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is delivering a two-pronged message to China — holding out hope for a slowly improving military relationship while issuing a stern warning on cyberattacks.

Speaking at a security conference in Singapore, Hagel also is assuring Asian nations that despite sharp budget cuts, the Pentagon will continue to shift its military troops, ships and aircraft to the Pacific region.

He says the U.S. has expressed concerns about the growing cyberthreat, some of which appears to be tied to the Chinese government and military. He is not the first U.S. official to publicly blame China for computer-based attacks that steal U.S. government and industry secrets, but he delivered the rebuke in China's backyard, with members of Beijing's government in the audience.