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China-US relations

US’ cyber hacking claims fabricated, says Beijing as Chinese duo face charges

  • Justice Department in US says the two accused acted for Chinese ministry to hack into companies and government agencies in at least a dozen countries
  • Chinese foreign ministry responds by accusing Washington
PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 December, 2018, 10:42am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 December, 2018, 2:54pm

Beijing has accused the United States of fabricating its claims that China stole trade secrets and technologies from at least 12 countries through a hacking campaign, and countered by claiming Washington itself is cyber hacking.

In a statement on Friday, the foreign ministry in Beijing responded to US legal action against two Chinese alleged hackers and said China would take “necessary steps to resolutely protect its cybersecurity and interest”.

“The United States fabricated facts,” it said. “The US made false accusations against the Chinese side on the grounds of so-called cyber stealing. Such a move is a serious violation of the basic norms of international relations and will seriously damage Sino-US cooperation.

“We urge the US to immediately correct its wrong practices, stop attacking the Chinese side with cybersecurity issues.”

‘This must stop’: China accused of ‘huge hacks to steal trade secrets’

The statement came after the US Justice Department announced criminal indictments on Thursday against two alleged hackers associated with the Chinese government.

Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong, who the US says acted on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of State Security, were charged with conspiracy to hack into dozens of companies and government agencies in the US and around the world.

But Beijing went one step further and accused Washington directly of cyber hacking.

“It is no longer a secret that the US conducts large-scale monitoring campaigns watching foreign governments, enterprises and individuals,” it said. “China will never accept it.”

According to Washington, a group of hackers known as APT10 – said to stand for Advanced Persistent Threat 10 – had conducted extensive campaigns of global intrusion into computer systems since at least 2006.