Republican presidential hopeful Senator Marco Rubio has called on US President Barack Obama to stop rhetoric against China and impose sanctions on the country over the hacking allegation.
In a letter to Obama on Monday, Rubio called China’s measures “irresponsible” and “destabilizing.”
The United States accuses China of hacking the data of up to four million former and current government employees. The allegation was denied.
“If it is to be dissuaded from continuing down this dangerous path, Beijing’s provocations must be met with more than mere rhetoric,” he wrote.
The Republican senator said the US president should use the summit of US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue this week to put further pressure on Beijing.
Sen. Marco Rubio (AFP Photo)
He said Obama should convey to China that “as additional evidence comes to light, the US will consider imposing sanctions against any Chinese government agencies or commercial enterprise found to have been involved in the recent cyberattack.”
American officials said earlier this month hackers had broken into the computer system of the Office of Personnel Management.
The hackers appear to have gained access to sensitive background information on US intelligence and military personnel that could potentially expose them to blackmail.
Following the massive hack, the White House announced that the US will impose economic sanctions on the hackers.
China has dismissed the recent hacking allegations as "irresponsible and unscientific."
Beijing says Washington’s cyber attack accusations are hypocritical, since intelligence leaks have revealed that the US itself is the most active perpetrator of cyber espionage against foreign countries, especially against China.