China calls on US to 'correct' hacking claims, stay out of maritime disputes

Cyberspying allegations and American role in maritime disputes hurt ties, Foreign Ministry says ahead of strategic and economic dialogue

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 July, 2014, 4:32am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 July, 2014, 6:59am

Beijing has called on Washington to "correct its wrong act" in alleging PLA officers were involved in hacking US businesses and stop interfering in regional maritime sovereignty disputes.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will be in Beijing for the 6th round of the bilateral strategic and economic dialogue that begins tomorrow. State Councillor Yang Jiechi and Vice-Premier Wang Yang will lead the Chinese side in the two days of talks.

Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said issues including the US presence in the Asia Pacific region and North Korea's nuclear programme would be discussed at the talks.

The annual dialogue comes amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing after the US charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into US companies to steal trade secrets, prompting Beijing to suspend a bilateral cybersecurity working group established last year.

"We believe [the charges] are … intentionally fabricated by the US. That move shows that the US lacks sincerity in working with China through dialogue to address cybersecurity," Zheng said in a press briefing on the annual talks, adding the indictments damaged mutual trust.

"We urge the US to correct its wrong act and create conditions for dialogue and cooperation on cyberspace. At the same time, we also urge the US to stop its cybertheft against the Chinese government, institutions, organisations and individuals."

Zheng also criticised Washington for interfering in maritime disputes between China and its neighbours, saying it was a "wrong move" that created uncertainty in Sino-US relations.

He said Washington should respect China's sovereign and territorial integrity, and view China in an objective manner.

"The US should make judgment based on facts instead of an ideological basis, and whether a certain country is an ally or not," he said.

Deputy Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said the two nations were expected to make progress in negotiating a bilateral treaty that opens up investment. "The economic ties between the two nations are very important when their overall ties face uncertainty," Zhu told the briefing.