A top US spook has been complaining that the recent leak which showed his nation hacking computers with the same vigour as other states is an unfair comparison.
The US defence community's hacking antics were revealed by Edward Snowden who showed that the complaints about Chinese hackers were simply hypocritical.
Now, according to Reuters, Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that it was not being hypocritical to attack China's hacking approach.
All countries gathered intelligence on their potential adversaries but Beijing's problematic "niche" was intellectual property theft, he said.
Dempsey told an audience at the Brookings Institution think tank that all nations on the face of the planet always conduct intelligence operations in all domains.
He said that he had words with China about their approach and the view was that there are no "rules of the road in cyber, there's nothing, there's no laws that they are breaking, there's no standards of behaviour".
The United States has become increasingly vocal about Chinese hacking, which officials say has cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars in lost intellectual property and is helping the nation's enemies speed up development of advanced weaponry.
Dempsey said the government is close to completing an update of its rules of engagement for dealing with a cyber attack.
He dusted off the old warning that if a government launched a cyber attack on the US it could be met with a cruise missile or an invasion.