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Chinese military denounces US cyber-spying accusation


05-30-2014 07:40 BJT

In the first indictment of its kind, the United States brought cyber-espionage charges against five Chinese military officers last week, accusing them of hacking into US company databases to gain trade secrets. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has denied the allegation, and the Ministry of National Defense also called the charges absurd.

The indictment accuses five Chinese military officers of targeting the US’s nuclear power, metals, and solar product industries. It includes allegations of stealing trade secrets and economic espionage. But China’s Ministry of National Defense hit back, saying the US claim is entirely unfounded and absurd.

"So far, the United States has not provided a clear explanation for this cyber theft. There is an old saying in China that if you want others to do the right thing, do it yourself first. The US, while conducting shameful acts itself, does not have any right to point the finger against others on cyber issues." Defense Ministry spokesperson Geng Yansheng said.

In a further move, China announced it was suspending cooperation with the US in a joint cybersecurity working group.

The group had been established in April 2013, and held its first meeting last July.

"The Chinese government stands firmly against cyber attacks. China is one of the main victims of hacking attacks. The Chinese government and its military protect cyber security, and we have solid evidence of some countries’ attacks against important websites and networks belonging to the Chinese government, defense institutions, and enterprises. We will take further actions depending on the situation." Geng said.

In a government report released on Tuesday, China accused the US of using internet surveillance to spy on its leaders and key institutions.

The testy exchanges show that even though the two countries have launched a series of initiatives to reduce mutual suspicion and smooth out communications, there remains friction in their relationship.

Defense ministers of both countries met last month and stressed more military cooperation. But now, China is warning that cyberspying charges from the US would reverse the gradually warming relations between the two militaries, thrusting a new challenge into the stability of the bilateral military relations.

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