Sat, Dec 22, 2018 - Page 1 News List

China says US ‘arrogant and selfish’ after indictments


US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman speaks at a news conference at the US Department of Justice in Washington on Thursday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

China yesterday called the US arrogant and selfish after two Chinese citizens were charged with stealing US trade secrets and other sensitive information on behalf of Beijing’s main intelligence agency.

“The Chinese government has never participated in or supported anyone in stealing trade secrets in any way,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) said.

She accused the US of undermining the development of other countries to defend its own hegemony.

“The US is a world superpower, and it’s quite arrogant and selfish,” she told a regular media briefing.

The US Department of Justice on Thursday announced the indictment of Chinese nationals Zhu Hua (朱華) and Zhang Shilong (張士龍) for allegedly carrying out an extensive cyberespionage campaign against US government agencies and major corporations.

Besides the alleged US infiltration, Zhu and Zhang have also been accused of breaching computers linked to companies in at least 11 other countries, including Japan, the UK and India.

More than 90 percent of the department’s economic espionage cases over the past seven years involve China and more than two-thirds of trade secrets cases are connected to the country, US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said.

“China’s state-sponsored actors are the most active perpetrators of economic espionage,” FBI Director Chris Wray said in announcing the case. “While we welcome fair competition, we cannot and will not tolerate illegal hacking, stealing or cheating.”

“They [the US] believe that a lie repeated a 1,000 times will become the truth, but I want to tell them that a lie is still a lie even after it has been repeated 10,000 times,” Hua said.

In a written statement issued earlier yesterday, she said that the US was “fabricating facts.”

The indictment says that the pair worked for Tianjin, China-based Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Co (天津華盈海泰科技發展) and acted in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security’s bureau in the northeastern port city.

A public company registry showed that the firm’s work includes the development of computer software, consulting and business related to a variety of technical equipment.

The mere announcement of charges is likely to affect public perception of China, said James Gong (龔鈺), a cybersecurity senior associate at the Herbert Smith Freehills law firm in Beijing.

“The allegation itself will give rise to some suspicion, at least, among the international public, that these hacking activities are actually supported by the Chinese state,” he said.

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