China accuses US of fabricating facts, refutes cyber hacking allegations
Beijing, Dec 21 : China on Friday accused the US of "fabricating facts" after the Justice Department charged two Chinese men allegedly linked to the communist nation's security services with cyber espionage for targeting companies in 12 countries, including India.
According to the unsealed indictment, Chinese nationals Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong were members of a hacking group operating in China known within the cyber security community as Advanced Persistent Threat 10 (the APT10 Group).
They worked for a company in China called Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company (Huaying Haitai) and acted in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security's Tianjin State Security Bureau, US prosecutors said.The US says it was a wide-reaching state-backed campaign of cyber-espionage.
China reacted sharply and lodged a strong diplomatic protest with the US.
"The US move has severely violated basic norms governing international relations and is seriously harmful to the cooperation between the two countries," Hua Chunying, the spokesperson for China's foreign ministry, said in statement.
"The US side fabricated facts out of thin air, made groundless accusations against China on the issue of cyber security and "sued" the two Chinese personnel on the pretext of cyber theft," Hua said.
The move seriously violates the basic norms governing international relations, seriously damages China-US cooperation and is of a very bad nature, she said.
"China firmly opposes it and has lodged solemn representations with the US side, she said.
"We urge US to immediately correct the wrong practices, stop slander against China on the cyber security issue and withdraw the so-called prosecution of Chinese personnel so as to avoid serious damage to bilateral relations and bilateral cooperation in related fields," she said.
The US and the UK both have been accusing China of violating an agreement relating to commercial espionage.
"China will take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its cybersecurity and its own interests. Some countries, including the UK, have also made slanderous remarks against China on the issue of cyber security. We will never accept it and firmly oppose it. We urge these countries to respect the facts and stop deliberately defamation of China so as not to damage their bilateral relations and cooperation in important areas with China," she said.
China for long has fended off allegations of cyber-attacks from the US and other countries.
In her statement on Friday, Hua said, "The Chinese government has never participated in or supported anyone in any form in stealing trade secrets."
She also accused US of indulging in cyber espionage against China and other countries.
"For a long time, it has long been an open secret for the relevant departments of the United States to conduct large-scale and organised network theft and monitoring of the activities of foreign governments, enterprises and individuals," she said.
"The US side has blamed China for its unwarranted nickname in the name of "cyber stealing". It is purely a slap in the face and deceives itself. China will never accept it," she said.
Tensions between the two world powers have been running high over several issue, including a bitter trade war.