Beijing, Jul 20 (PTI) China on Tuesday accused the US of “ganging up” with allies to make groundless allegations against it for carrying out a global cyber hacking campaign and asked Washington not to throw “dirty water” at it with such accusations.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, reacting to the US and NATO allegation of China carrying out a global campaign of hacking, alleged that “under the US encouragement, NATO has made cyberspace the new battlefield” which may in turn fuel the cyber arms race.
“The US has ganged up with allies and launched unwarranted accusations against China on Cyber security,” Zhao said.
An unprecedented group of allies and partners, including the EU, the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and NATO joined the US on Monday in exposing and criticising the Chinese Ministry of State Security's malicious cyber activities.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that it was the first-time NATO has condemned China's cyber activities.
The united front cobbled by the US has riled China.
Zhao said the allegation was “made out of thin air and mix right with wrong”.
It is purely aimed at smearing China out of political motives, he said.
“China will never accept this and will firmly oppose and combat any form of cyber-attacks. Still less we encourage or condone any cyber-attacks,” Zhao said.
He also launched a broadside against NATO, saying that the US-led military alliance has made cyberspace a new battlefield.
“It has established the cyber operation centre of the cyber command. The introduction of the military alliance into cyberspace not only does very little to advance its own security but may instead provoke cyber arms race and enhance the risk of frictions and disputes in cyberspace and may undermine international peace and security.
“If NATO truly cares about national security, it should act as it speaks about defending peace in cyberspace instead of preparing for war in cyberspace,” he said.
Zhao said if NATO cares about the cybersecurity of its member states, it should first discuss the matter of extensive cyber espionage of certain member states to other member states.
About the allegations of cyber-attacks from China, Zhao reiterated Beijing’s oft-repeated defence, saying it is difficult to prove the source of cyber-attacks.
“Given the virtual nature of cyberspace and the fact that there are kinds of online actors who are difficult to trace, it is important to have enough evidence when investigating and identifying cyber-related incidents.
“The so-called technological details released by the US does not constitute a complete chain of evidence,” he said.
He also accused the US of being the “largest source of cyber-attacks in the world and targeted specific industries in China, which included aerospace, oil, internet companies and government institutions.
“Such attacks severely undermine China’s national, economic, infrastructure and personnel information security of the people,” Zhao said, adding that the US also wiretapped allies.
“Smearing China and others cannot whitewash oneself. China strongly asks the US and its allies to stop its cyber espionage and attacks on China. Stop throwing dirty water on China when it comes to security issues and revoke so-called prosecution. China will take necessary measures to firmly defend its cybersecurity and interests,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson added.
The White House on Monday said that the Biden administration's China strategy is in partnership with the US' friends and key allies as several nations led by America accused Beijing of 'malicious' cyber activities that are impacting a number of countries. PTI KJV CPS AKJ CPS