Washington: A US lawmaker said on Wednesday Chinese economic espionage, including cyber spying, has reached an "intolerable level" and called for the United States and its allies to confront Beijing.

"Beijing is waging a massive trade war on us all, and we should band together to pressure them to stop," Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said during a hearing on cyber threats.

"I don't believe that there is a precedent in history for such a massive and sustained intelligence effort by a government to blatantly steal commercial data and intellectual property," Rogers said.

"China's economic espionage has reached an intolerable level and I believe that the United States and our allies in Europe and Asia have an obligation to confront Beijing and demand that they put a stop to this piracy," he said.

"Combined, the United States and our allies in Europe and Asia have significant diplomatic and economic leverage over China, and we should use this to our advantage to put an end to this scourge," he said.

Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, singled out China in his opening remarks to a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on improving US cyber security.

Among those testifying to the committee was retired general Michael Hayden, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.

Hayden echoed Rogers in describing the scope of China's economic espionage activities.

"As a professional intelligence officer, I step back in we at the breadth, depth, sophistication and persistence of the Chinese espionage effort against the United States of America," Hayden said.

(Agencies)