China blames Pentagon for 'Internet arms race'

China is accusing the United States of accelerating an "Internet arms race" with the Pentagon’s aggressive new strategy for cybersecurity.

Released a week ago, the Defense Department’s new guidelines outline a more robust role for cyber weapons and retaliatory cyber efforts. The Pentagon had not previously been willing to divulge in such detail its defensive cyber game plan.

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Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the public clarification is an attempt to encourage deterrence through transparency.

But Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said Thursday that the messaging will simply “up the ante on the Internet arms race,” Reuters reported.

“We are concerned and worried about this," Geng added.

While still pursuing diplomatic channels with China on cybersecurity, the Obama administration in official documents has increasingly called out the Asian power for hacking and spying on the U.S.

The White House in February released a new National Security Strategy — its first since 2010 — that explicitly called out China for its clandestine cyber espionage campaigns.

Publicly shaming China for cyber espionage is hypocritical, Geng said, because it’s widely known the National Security Agency conducts similar cyber snooping.

The U.S.-China cybersecurity relationship has been frosty since the Justice Department in May indicted five Chinese military members for hacking.

China’s recent efforts to implement domestic cybersecurity rules requiring foreign businesses to use Beijing-approved encryption and submit source code for inspection have also drawn a strong rebuke from President Obama.