Hacking claim isn't responsible, Beijing says

Updated: 2015-06-06 03:14

By Chen Mengwei(China Daily)

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Anonymous intelligence officials' accusations published in US media blame Chinese govt

Beijing has called allegations published in US media that the Chinese government breached US government computer networks affecting 4 million current and former federal workers a "trumped-up charge".

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Friday: "Hacking attacks on the Internet are anonymous, international and hard to trace. Making allegations starting with 'maybe', without solid investigation and research, is a trumped-up charge. It is groundless and irresponsible."

The US Office of Personnel Management said on its website that it found out in April about a cybersecurity incident in December. Anonymous US intelligence officials told The Washington Post and CNN that they link the hackers to the Chinese government, but they did not provide any investigation details or evidence.

The Post's headline read "Chinese breach data of 4 million federal workers", and CNN wrote "U.S. government hacked; feds think China is the culprit".

Hong said China has consistently and resolutely fought against any hacking activities, as China is a victim of cyberattacks as well.

"In this regard, we are willing to engage in international cooperation to build a peaceful, safe, open and cooperative cyberspace," Hong said. "We hope the US would not be too suspicious or make accusations on hearsay. Rather, they should demonstrate more trust and cooperation in this realm."

Fan Jishe, a US studies researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the accusation from the US and spread through the media will have a negative impact on bilateral relations.

"Since 2011, the US government has been playing a cyberattack accusation game in this way, publishing their blame of China in the media to create domestic pressure," Fan said, "The unbalanced reports frame China in a negative light, neglecting that China, as a victim, suffers from hackers' attacks just like the US. That approach plays no constructive role in China-US relations."

Li Haidong, a professor of US studies at China Foreign Affairs University, said: "In US political circles, the attitude toward China is at a turning point. Some are friendly, while some are hostile.

"This incident can deal a negative blow to those who favor China. Millions of government employees' views on China may be influenced. That can be a very bad sign. It is very important that China's Foreign Ministry has made our stand clear," he said.

In its latest announcement, the US Office of Personnel Management said that "beginning June 8 and continuing through June 19, OPM will be sending notifications to approximately 4 million individuals whose Personally Identifiable Information was potentially compromised in this incident", which "will contain information regarding credit monitoring and identity theft protection services".