WASHINGTON: China has engaged in widespread cyber espionage in a bid to extract information about the US government’s foreign policy and military plans, said a Pentagon report issued Monday.

China kept up a steady campaign of hacking in 2012 that included attempts to target US government computer networks, which could provide Beijing a better insight into America’s policy deliberations and military capabilities, according to the Pentagon’s annual assessment of China’s military.

“China is using its computer network exploitation (CNE) capability to support intelligence collection against the US diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial base sectors that support US national defense programs,” said the report to Congress.

“In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the US government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military,” it said.

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