China says Taiwan hacking allegations are ‘malicious slander’
China on Thursday branded as “malicious slander” accusations from Taiwan about hacking attacks linked to the Chinese government, further adding to tensions between Beijing and Taipei.
Taiwan has been urging its people to be alert for what officials call “omnipresent infiltration” from China, ranging from Beijing-backed media campaigns to cyberattacks, against the island that China considers its territory.
This week, Taiwan said hacking groups connected to the Chinese government had attacked at least 10 government agencies and some 6,000 email accounts of government officials in an “infiltration” to steal important data.
Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian poured scorn on the allegation.
“The criticisms from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities are malicious slander, pure and simple,” Zhao told reporters, referring to Taiwan’s ruling party. “China is a staunch defender of cybersecurity, and is one of the victims of hacking attacks.”
The Chinese government routinely denies involvement in hacking and says it punishes those who do it.
The hacking allegations come during a period of growing strains between the island and China.
China has stepped up its military activity near Taiwan and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.