Chuck Hagel to address Chinese hacking in first Asia trip as defense secretary


Former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of defense on Capitol Hill on Jan. 31, 2013 in Washington, DC.


Alex Wong

United States government officials agree: the US should do something about Chinese hacking attacks.  US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel echoed those sentiments as he made his first trip to Asia today as Pentagon chief.

"We've got to find ways, working with the Chinese, working with everybody, (to develop) rules of the road, some international understandings," Hagel told reporters. He is headed to Singapore, where defense officials from all over the globe are meeting this weekend. 

Hagel said he'll use the opportunity press Beijing officials about his hacking concerns. 

More from GlobalPost: Meet Zhang. He hacks for Beijing.

“Cyberthreats are real,” Hagel told the Washington Post. “They’re terribly dangerous.”

Hagel's comments came after a new report by the Defense Science Board accused the Chinese government and military of spying on Pentagon weapons programs. 

And in February, a US government report named China as the biggest cyberthreat to America. China responded by releasing its own report claiming that the US is China's biggest cyberthreat.

Hopefully, Hagel's in-person talks with Beijing officials this weekend will be a little more productive. 

He began his trip with a stop at the Hickam Field in Hawaii to meet US troops.