US swipes at China for hacking allegations

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. has taken its first real swipe against China following accusations that Beijing is behind a widespread and systemic hacking campaign targeting U.S. businesses.

Buried in the spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday is a provision that effectively bars much of the federal government from buying information technology made by companies linked to the Chinese government.

The provision only affects government purchases between now and Sept. 30, when the federal budget year ends. Still, the rule comes at a sensitive time in U.S.-China relations and could affect companies around the globe that rely on Chinese manufacturers for parts.

Stewart Baker, a former senior official at the Homeland Security Department, says he thinks the legislation is the beginning in a bigger shift in U.S. policy toward China.

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