US Indicts Chinese Nationals for Hacking: Chinese FM: American allegations fabricated, baseless
Updated 22:21, 24-Dec-2018
Beijing is criticizing the US indictments on two Chinese nationals accused of cyber espionage. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has called the allegations fabricated and baseless, saying Washington has violated the basic norms of international relations. The Ministry said China has been consistent and clear in defending cyber security, and urged the US and its allies to stop slandering China. The two Chinese are NOT in custody at the moment, but they have been put on a wanted list of American law enforcement. CGTN's Owen Fairclough reports.
Amid a trade war between the U.S. and China, a fresh complication for their relationship.
GEOFFREY BERMAN US ATTORNEY FOR SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK "Today, we announce charges against two Chinese hackers, Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong."
Without offering specific evidence, justice officials say the pair belong to a Chinese government-backed group called APT10 connected to China's main intelligence agency. The group allegedly spent at least 12 years hacking computer networks from Brazil to the United Kingdom and targeted 45 U.S. companies, all aim at stealing trade secrets and personal information to give China a technological edge.
GEOFFREY BERMAN US ATTORNEY FOR SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK "Members of APT10 stole confidential personal information, including social security numbers and dates of birth for over 100,000 Navy personnel."
This indictment has been made at a sensitive time for U.S. - China relations - as the two are trying to resolve a trade war triggered partly by Washington's complaints that China steals trade secrets. And the Department of Justice had to fend off suggestions that the Trump administration is using this case to pressure China into favourable terms.
ROD ROSENSTEIN US DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL "We have a responsibility to investigate cases based on the facts and we need to apply the law and make independent decisions about what steps to take. Our decisions about whether or not a case merits prosecution are not affected by any other political considerations."
Even so, technology is a flashpoint in Washington's relationship with Beijing. The U.S. is trying to extradite the Chief Finance Officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Meng Wanzhou to face charges it violated Iran sanctions. The company has been banned from the U.S. over claims it threatens national security.
OWEN FAIRCLOUGH WASHINGTON "Justice officials here say more than 90 percent of economic espionage cases over the past seven years involve China and that this indictment violates a 2015 bilateral agreement with the U.S. to stop cyber hacking. China's government has repeatedly denied any involvement. OFA, CGTN, Washington."