The US has fabricated evidence to back cyber espionage accusations against Chinese military officials, China’s Defense and Foreign Ministries said.
“In the field of internet technology and infrastructure, the
US is blessed with an advantage, so fabricating some so-called
‘evidence’ is certainly no hardship," Chinese Defense
Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said, as quoted by Reuters.
Last week, the US Justice Department (DOJ) accused five Chinese officers of hacking into American companies to steal trade secrets and pass them on to Chinese state-owned enterprises.
The summary of the alleged conduct released by the DOJ contained detailed information about the alleged perpetrators and their activities, which included domain names and email addresses used in the attacks.
But Geng compared Washington's evidence of Chinese cyber spying to its justification for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Back then, the Americans stated that Baghdad was in possession of weapons of mass destruction, but the accusations later appeared to be baseless.
“The international community has not seen the US’ so-called proof. They've only seen the massive conflict and hardship endured by the people of Iraq," Geng stressed.
The harsh comments from the Defense Ministry were echoed by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which also held a briefing on Thursday.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gan used the same wording, saying that Washington's proof of Chinese cyber espionage is “fabricated.”
“We have repeatedly said that the Chinese government, military and relevant personnel have never engaged or participated in cyber espionage activities,” Qin said, as quoted by Japan's Kyodo news agency.
Washington “shouldn’t be rigorous on others, while being lenient itself,” the spokesman stressed, reminding of the country's large-scale cyber snooping activities revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
On Wednesday, a Chinese general labeled the US “the world's No.1 cyber thief” in terms of both military and political intelligence.
“It is ridiculous for the US side to say that cyber espionage on political and military intelligence is common practice while the theft of commercial secrets is illegal,” Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, told China Daily newspaper.
He described Washington’s actions in the Chinese cyber espionage affair as “a thief crying 'stop thief,'” adding that it seriously violates the norms of international relations and hampers China-US relations.
Earlier this week, it was reported that state-owned Chinese companies will end their work with US consulting companies such as McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group, over fears they are spying on behalf of the US government.
China's leadership has also reportedly urged banks to stop using IBM servers and replace them with local-made machines amid fears that the nation’s financial security might be compromised via the US-based company’s servers.