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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

China Suspends Cybersecurity Cooperation After U.S. Charges

China suspended its involvement in a cybersecurity working group and threatened further retaliation after the U.S. indicted five Chinese military officials for allegedly stealing trade secrets.
The indictment is a “serious violation of the basic norms of international relations and damaged China-U.S. cooperation and mutual trust,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement. Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang summoned U.S. Ambassador Max Baucus yesterday to lodge a formal protest, the ministry said today. 

Qin’s sharply worded statement reflected how the charges, which accused China of a vast effort to mine U.S. technology through cyber-espionage, added new strains to a relationship already tested by past allegations of hacking. Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden claimed last year that the U.S had been hacking into computers in China since 2009. 
The cybersecurity working group was established last year when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Beijing and the two sides tried to patch up ties. China urged the U.S. to “revoke the so-called prosecution,” according to Qin’s statement.
China will take countermeasures “if the United States goes its own way,” the Xinhua News agency said hours after the U.S. announced the indictment, citing a spokesperson for China’s State Internet Information Office.
The spokesperson said the U.S. is the biggest attacker of China’s cyberspace and China is a “solid defender of cybersecurity,” according to Xinhua. It said that between March 19 and May 18, 1.18 million Chinese host computers were under the control of servers in the U.S. 
“China has repeatedly asked the U.S. to stop, but it never makes any statement on its wiretaps, nor does it desist, not to mention make an apology to the Chinese people,” Xinhua said, The spokesperson called the hacking charges “groundless,” according to Xinhua.