China hits out at cyber-spying accusations
BEIJING - Agence France-Presse
A computer forensic examiner looks for evidence on hard drives at the US Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center in Linthicum, Maryland, in this file photo. AP photoBeijing on Friday hit out at a U.S. intelligence agency report accusing the Chinese of cyber-spying, saying it was unprofessional and irresponsible.
The report on foreign cyber spying submitted to the U.S. Congress on Thursday said the Chinese were the world’s “most active and persistent perpetrators” of economic espionage.
“Cyber attacks are transnational and anonymous,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters. “Without investigation, to prejudge the origin of the attack is neither professional nor responsible.” The report, compiled by the office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, said cyber spies were interested in information and communications technology, business information, military technologies, particularly marine systems and drones, and medical and pharmaceutical secrets.
While emphasising that it was difficult to prove state sponsorship in cyberspace, the report said Chinese actors are “the world’s most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage.”
Between 2009 and 2011, “computer networks of a broad array of U.S. government agencies, private companies, universities, and other institutions - all holding large volumes of sensitive economic information - were targeted by cyber espionage,” the report said. “Much of this activity appears to have originated in China.”
Meanwhile, China is opening up its military-run manned space program to foreign nations, seeking its own alliances as U.S. concerns see it excluded from the international space station project, analysts told Agence France-Presse.
China this week successfully carried out its first docking in orbit, and the Shenzhou VIII spacecraft involved in the manoeuvre carried German life science and microgravity experiments on board.
This was the first time any other country has been given access to China’s manned spaceflight program since it began 20 years ago.
Isabelle Sourbes-Verger, a China space program expert at France’s National Centre for Scientific
Research, said the internationalization of manned flights showed China was no longer playing catch-up with other nations. The implication, she said, is that Beijing no longer sees the field as primarily the domain of the military.
China is only the third country to send humans into space and has announced plans to build a space laboratory by 2016 and a permanent space station by 2020.