China fumes over cyber theft charges, accuses US of hypocrisy

Miffed with the US over indictment of five People`s Liberation Army officers over commercial cyber espionage charges, China on Monday night summoned US ambassador.

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Beijing: Miffed with the US over indictment of five People`s Liberation Army officers over commercial cyber espionage charges, China accused the US of hypocrisy and double standards.

Chinese Defence Ministry posted a statement on its website, saying, "From `WikiLeaks` to the `Snowden` case, US hypocrisy and double standards regarding the issue of cyber-security have long been abundantly clear".

"The so-called `commercial espionage network` is a pure fabrication by the US, a move to mislead the public based on ulterior motives," the AFP quoted the statement.

Also, American ambassador to China, Max Baucus, was summoned by Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang on Monday night to lodge a solemn representation with the US side over cyber theft charges levelled on its officers, reported the Xinhua.

China has reacted angrily to the indictment, calling the charges groundless.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Qin Gang saying that Beijing had decided to halt participation in a US-China working group on cybersecurity.

The US, on the other hand, said it “won`t tolerate” the Chinese government-sponsored cyber thefts.

The US Justice Department  has charged five Chinese military officers for hacking six American businesses and entities, namely US Steel Corp., Westinghouse, Alcoa, Allegheny Technologies, the United Steel Workers Union and SolarWorld.

The five Chinese officers - Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu and Gu Chunhui — were charged on 31 counts, with each carrying a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Condemning cyber stealing by China, the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney issued a statement saying, “Government-sponsored, cyber-enabled theft of trade secrets and other sensitive business information for commercial gain is not something we can tolerate”.

Hailing the indictment of Chinese Army officers unanimously, US senators urged the US to pressurise China to curb such incidents of cyber stealing.

Telling China to hand over the five PLA officers, US Attorney General Eric Holder said, "This case should serve as a wake-up call to the seriousness of the continuing cyberthreat".

Warning against increasing Chinese cyber theft, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers said that the five Chinese officers being indicted was “just the tip of the iceberg”, as there were “thousands of Peopl`s Liberation Army (PLA) hackers working every day, at the behest of the Chinese government, to steal American trade secrets and the jobs that result from our innovation”.

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