China rejects US claims of 'cyber attacks'

Updated: 2013-05-11 02:07

By Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily)

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For the past two months, "Chinese cyber attack" has become a catch phrase for US media and think tanks.

China has insisted that it doesn't condone hacking and that it is the victim of hacking attacks, most of which it says emanate from the US. The Ministry of National Defense has released data that it says support this assertion.

After a trip to Beijing in April, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington and Beijing would form a working group on cyber security.

On Thursday, Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei Technologies Co, defended the Chinese company in the face of US cyber security claims.

"Huawei has no connection to the cyber security issue the US has encountered in the past, current and future," Ren was quoted as telling reporters in New Zealand.

The telecommunications networking gear that Huawei makes "is almost nonexistent in networks currently running in the US", he said. "We have never sold any key equipment to major US carriers, nor have we sold any equipment to any US government agency."

A report last October by two members of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee charged that Huawei and its competitor ZTE Corp posed a potential threat to US national security.

Much of the House committee's claims stem from the two companies' alleged links to China's army and government. Ren had already left the army by the time he founded the company in 1987.

Rick Falkvinge, a Swedish tech entrepreneur and politician, said Washington "needs to clean up its own act before trying to assert the moral high ground over the Chinese for their alleged hack attacks on the US".

In an opinion essay on Wednesday on the website of Russia Today, a Russian government-funded media outlet, Falkvinge, described the US accusations as "hypocritical and posturing".

He said the US-led Echelon program, a system to intercept communications, is used by the US not only for military purposes but also to give US industries "the upper hand in purely industrial applications, in competition with international counterparts".

Falkvinge said that so far only two countries are known to have used hacking militarily: the US and Israel, in what is believed to have been a joint attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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