Terming the cyberattacks originating from China as simply "inexcusable", a top American Senator has said this posed a major threat to the US-China bilateral relationship.
"As far as our relationship with China is concerned, the major threat to that relation or cyberattacks which come from China, they are serious. They are huge.
They are involved at the moment with going after commercial information, and commercial technologies," Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told a Washington audience.
"The theft is just inexcusable. We've got to try to stop it, and we've got to find ways to persuade China it's not in their interest or doesn't benefit our relationship for these kind of attacks to continue," Levin said in response to a question at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington-based think tank.
"It would be extremely helpful if China would also, on the North Korea issue, do what they apparently are somewhat now doing, which is moving towards a more robust effort to contain a North Korean nuclear program," he said.
"There's some evidence that the Chinese may be willing now to work with the world community, part of the world community, to try to contain and restrict the threat of the North Korean program, both the missile program, as well as the nuclear program.
That would be good news, if China continues to move in that direction," Levin said.
Responding to questions, Levin said the United States thinks that the Chinese government is clearly supporting what's going on in terms of the cyberattacks coming from China.
"They wouldn't occur without the Chinese government approval, acquiescent support, various levels, various times," he said.
Levin also accused China on supplying counterfeit products.
"We had an investigation at the Armed Services Committee, which proved that millions of parts that were counterfeited in China got into our weapons systems, millions of parts, and that they're counterfeited openly in a city in China, out on the street, where our older computers sent back to China, disassembled, parts cleaned, new numbers put on them, and then resold as new," he said.
"Now, China can stop that in a minute, by the way. That's done openly. But they haven't. And it's part of this intellectual property theft, which is also the current target for cyberattacks.
"China's doing itself a disservice, I believe, in not putting an end to these kind of thefts of other countries' intellectual property.
"It's a huge issue, and it ought to be addressed by China," Levin said.