• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 7:48am

China summons US ambassador and military attaché over indictments

US ambassador and the military attache summoned as Beijing protests indictments of five PLA officials for hi-tech snooping

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2014, 11:30pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 May, 2014, 11:10am

China summoned the US ambassador to the country, Max Baucus, in protest after vehemently denying allegations by the United States of cyberespionage by military officials.

Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang told Baucus that China could "take further action on the so-called charges" depending on how the situation developed.

The defence ministry's Foreign Affairs Office also summoned the US' acting military attaché yesterday to protest.

Watch: US indicts five members of China military for hacking

A Xinhua commentary slammed the accusations against China, highlighting ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's revelations that the US spied on Chinese companies and calling the move "a typical case of a thief crying thief".

On Monday, the US Justice Department filed criminal charges against five officials from the People's Liberation Army, accusing them of hacking into computers of US companies involved in nuclear energy, steel manufacturing and solar energy. The unprecedented indictment marked the first time Washington had filed hacking charges against foreign officials. The White House emphasised cybersecurity was at the top of President Barack Obama's agenda.

China's foreign ministry said the move was based on "deliberately fabricated facts" and "grossly violates basic norms governing international relations and jeopardises China-US cooperation and mutual trust".

"The Chinese government, the Chinese military and their relevant personnel have never engaged or participated in cybertheft of trade secrets. The US accusation against Chinese personnel is purely ungrounded with ulterior motives," the statement said. China has suspended activities of the China-US Cyber Working Group.

The US accusation against Chinese personnel is purely ungrounded
China's foreign ministry

Geng Yansheng , a spokesman for the defence ministry, echoed those sentiments, saying in a statement that Chinese military computer terminals had suffered a large number of cyberattacks in recent years, many of which came from US internet protocol addresses.

"From 'Wikileaks' to 'the Snowden incident', the hypocrisy and double standards of the US side on this issue has long been obvious," the statement said.

In the Xinhua commentary, China urged the US to withdraw the charges and return to dialogue and cooperation.

"Otherwise, it should take full responsibility for the consequences of the farce that features itself as a robber playing cop."

Watch: How does a hacker hack?

Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse


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This article is now closed to comments

China so good at playing the innocent victim. Trouble is we all know different. What a farce!
Methinks the Commie doth protest too much.
Sifu - these Chinese military officers were not indicted for espionage. The US knows that China spies on the US military and diplomatic agencies. The US knows that China tries to steal US military secrets. The US does the same to China. This indictment had nothing to do with espionage for state purposes. It was, instead, directed to the stealing of commercial secrets for the benefit of Chinese SOEs. The US doesn't do that, and the other modern trading nations don't do that. If China wants to be part of the modern world trading system, it must stop doing that.
A Matsui
The US is a lawless belligerent country.
China will not have a moral compass for another 1000 years. They are just like their US buddies and will just be another bully on the block like Russia and the US. Would be good for people to boycott all 3 superpower products for a decade
rumor has it if found guilty obama will have his neanderthal wife send out ten nasty hash tags!
China and the US conduct cyber-espionage systematically. US is by-far the established and dominant player in this space with China rapidly playing catch-up. The greatest impact hail not from hacking computers but through human intelligence where an "insider" provides deeply-guarded and imminently-actionable information about operatives (strategic-assets) planted in valuable organizations, traitors who sell/pass on sensitive military or intelligence-planning/gathering process and/or secretive technologies & game-changing know-hows. As expected, no one from either side is willing to talk about this area of spying! Any volunteers?
How About
Distinction well spoken. Let's take a shot at how we might deal with that- shall we build better Internet and software that no one can hack into? Oops that doesn't work because NSA wants the same intell. But let's squint and say NSA doesn't want that [Google, Yahoo, Twitter, telecom metadata], then upgrade WWW to version 2.5 already, HTML 6, whatever, and get all the software backdoors plugged!


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