China has reacted sharply against the latest round of US allegations of cyber spying, summoning its ambassador late on Monday night to lodge a complaint and suspending work on a bilateral cyber-security working group.
In a specific indictment, Washington on Monday alleged that five officers of the People’s Liberation Army stationed in a Shanghai building that houses the Chinese military’s 61398 unit had hacked into computers in the US.
In response, US Ambassador Max Baucus was summoned by assistant foreign minister, Zhang Zeguang on Monday night and was told that Washington had “badly hurt China-US ties by fabricating information”.
The Chinese foreign ministry statement, quoting Zhang, said: “…none of the country’s government personnel, military personnel, or individuals have ever participated or been involved in cyber theft of trade secrets.”
“The US owes China and the world an explanation of its own behaviors, which have been widely condemned by the international community,” Zheng said, adding that the US was turning things upside down by pointing fingers at China.
China also decided to halt the activities of a bilateral working group on cyber security.
China’s anger was summed up in a state media opinion piece, which said: “So the thief needs to cry ‘Stop thief!’ so as to divert attention away from its own cyber war ambitions”.