China urges US to 'stop spying' after WikiLeaks release

Indo Asian News Service

Beijing, March 9 (IANS) China on Thursday urged the US to stop tapping phones, monitoring, spying and launching cyber attacks on China and other countries, after WikiLeaks released what it called data on hacking carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said during a press conference that China is concerned about the situation and warned that Beijing will firmly safeguard its own cyber security, reported Efe news.

China "is ready to enhance dialogue and cooperation with the international community to formulate a set of international rules on cyberspace acceptable to all parties under the UN framework", said Geng.

Wikileaks, led by Australia's Julian Assange, said that its "Vault 7" series, released with the chapter "Year Zero" covering the period 2013 to 2016 with 8,761 documents, is the biggest intelligence data leak in history.

The documents explain how the CIA is capable of intercepting WhatsApp or Sina Weibo -- Chinese equivalent of Twitter -- messages and use methods to blame other countries for digital spying, according to the report.

The Chinese response to the WikiLeaks release coincided with Beijing's reaction to the latest global human rights report published annually by the US in which Washington criticised the situation in China.

China, in its counter-report, accused the US of considering itself to be the human rights judge while ignoring its own domestic issues.

The Beijing report was released a week after the US report, in which Chinese authorities are accused of serious human rights violations, including the suppression of dissent, forced confessions by detainees, and the torture and harassment of media, dissidents, activists and lawyers.

The Chinese document, according to the report, also denounced America's "discriminatory behaviour towards minorities", the worst wage gap between the blacks and the whites in four decades alongside the growing marginalisation of Muslim communities.