China denied it organized state-sponsored hacking groups to attack U.S. networks, saying the hacking allegations were a "collective disinformation campaign" from the Five Eyes countries, consisted of the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the UK.
Western intelligence agencies and Microsoft released a report on Wednesday alleging that China has been spying on a wide range of U.S. critical infrastructure organizations.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Thursday that the report scraps all kinds of things up, misses a lot of evidence and is "extremely unprofessional".
The fact that the National Security Agency (NSA) of the U.S. and other agencies from the Five Eyes countries issued the report simultaneously demonstrated that the disinformation campaign, launched by the U.S. and followed by the Five Eyes countries, is for geopolitical reasons, Mao said at a regular press briefing in Beijing.
Mao added that the Five Eyes Alliance is the world's largest intelligence organization, and the NSA is the largest hacking group in the world.
"It's ironic that the two organizations jointly publish false information reports," she said.
As for the involvement of Microsoft, Mao said it showed that the U.S. government was expanding its channels of disinformation beyond government agencies.
"But no matter what varied methods are used, none of this can change the fact that the U.S. is the empire of hacking," she told reporters.
She also mentioned a report by the Chinese side in September last year that disclosed details of a cyberattack by the NSA on Northwestern Polytechnical University of China. She urged the U.S. to give an account of its actions instead of spreading false information to divert attention.
(Cover image is from CFP)