(WASHINGTON POST) When U.S. cyber-security firm Mandiant released a lengthy report this morning on Chinese hacking, tracing an extensive cyber-espionage campaign against American corporations back to a specific unit in the Chinese military, it implicitly raised a question that has loomed over such reports. At one point does this become a diplomatic issue between the U.S. and China?

There are signs that the Obama administration is elevating the hacking issue in its diplomacy, putting more emphasis on publicly signaling its unhappiness with the Chinese government.

The New York Times reports, “Obama administration officials say they are planning to tell China’s new leaders in coming weeks that the volume and sophistication of the attacks have become so intense that they threaten the fundamental relationship between Washington and Beijing.” That’s a pretty significant elevation.

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