WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says the U.S. indictment of five Chinese officers for cyberspying could hurt Beijing’s already tenuous military relationship with the United States but says it will be up to China to decide if the dialogue continues.

China has suspended cooperation in a joint cybersecurity task force and has warned that the Justice Department indictment will jeopardize military ties.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby says cybersecurity is a difficult issue for the two countries and no one expected the Chinese to react well to the indictments. He says the Pentagon wants to keep the lines of communication open, but the Chinese have to help build a stronger level of trust with the U.S.

The indictment charges that the officers stole trade secrets from major American companies.

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