Sino-US relations

Beijing slams Pentagon over claims hackers accessed weapons designs

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 May, 2013, 6:11am

A Pentagon report accusing Chinese hackers of accessing US weapons designs contained "misjudgments", a spokesman for the Defence Ministry in Beijing said yesterday, adding China could build weapons on its own.

US officials, confirming a report in The Washington Post, had said the breaches were part of a large-scale cyberspying campaign against top American defence contractors and government agencies.

"There are misjudgments in the US claims," Geng Yansheng said in a statement on the ministry's website. "First, they underestimate the security defence capabilities of the Pentagon, and second they underestimate the intelligence of the Chinese people.

"China is fully capable of building the weapons and equipment needed to defend national security," he said.

Geng cited as examples the country's aircraft carrier, fighter jets, transport aircraft and its satellite navigation system.

The Pentagon document cited by The Washington Post said hackers accessed secret designs for two dozen major weapons systems crucial to missile defences, combat aircraft and ships.

Meanwhile, Geng also confirmed reports that China has imported an air-cushioned landing craft from Ukraine that is slated for delivery "at a proper time", Xinhua quoted him as saying.

State radio reported this week that a cargo ship consigning the Zubr-class hovercraft had reached Guangzhou last Friday.

Separately, the ministry said a navy seaplane had crashed into waters near the eastern port city of Qingdao . A notice posted on its website said the plane went down in Jiaozhou Bay yesterday morning while conducting a training mission.

The notice said a search-and-rescue mission had been launched by the navy, but it gave no word on casualties.