​ Clinton: China trying to ‘hack into everything that doesn't move’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Democratic US presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters on June 23, 2015 in Florissant, Missouri. (AFP photo)

Democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has criticized both China and Russia, blaming them of threatening neighbors and undermining American interests.    

Speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire on Saturday, Clinton accused China of trying to "hack into everything that doesn't move in America."

The former secretary of state said China was stealing America’s commercial secrets and "huge amounts of government information.”

She stated that “China's military is growing very quickly, they're establishing military installations that again threaten countries we have treaties with, like the Philippines because they are building on contested property."

"They're also trying to hack into everything that doesn't move in America. Stealing commercial secrets ... from defense contractors, stealing huge amounts of government information, all looking for an advantage," she claimed.

Chinese military officers march through Beijing (Getty Images)

Washington has for years accused the Chinese government and military of conducting computer-based attacks against the US, including efforts to steal information from federal agencies.

It claims that the Chinese military has made cyber warfare capabilities a priority over a decade ago and often blames people linked to it for hacking into US companies’ computers to steal secrets.

Beijing says Washington’s cyber attack accusations are hypocritical, since intelligence leaks have revealed that the US itself is most active perpetrator of cyber espionage against foreign countries, especially against China.

Last month, US officials claimed that hackers from China had broken into the computer system of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in December 2014, possibly compromising the personal data of at least 4 million current and former federal employees.

The inspector general at the US Office of Personnel Management warned in November that Chinese hackers could target his agency, a report says.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, however, slammed the US for making unfounded accusations, saying that China is itself the target of hacking attacks.

Clinton: Putin harboring territorial ambitions

On Saturday, Clinton also addressed the crisis in Ukraine and accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of harboring territorial ambitions.

However, she said Washington has to be "much smarter" about how it deals with Moscow.

She stated that Putin's plans to expand Russia's boundaries posed a challenge for Washington, adding that she has the experience to deal with such issues.

Clinton said that he has dealt with Putin. “I know him. He's not an easy man.”

She said that “constant engagement” is the best option when it comes to confronting the Russian leader.

"We have to be much smarter in how we deal with Putin and how we deal with his ambitions," she stressed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Military tensions between the United States and Russia have escalated steadily since April 2014, when the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea reunited with the Russian Federation following a referendum a month earlier.

Washington accuses Moscow of arming and supporting pro-Russian forces fighting in the predominantly Russian-speaking areas in eastern Ukraine. Moscow calls the accusations "groundless".

The US-led military buildup in NATO member states bordering Russia has drawn strong objections from Moscow, followed by warnings of a well-measured response.

The United States plans to bolster its armored presence and keep rotations of American troops in Eastern Europe to provide “deterrence against Russian aggression.”


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