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China slams U.S. charges of cyberspying, summons ambassador Max Baucus

By Daniel S Levine,

The Chinese government summoned U.S. Ambassador Max Baucus on Monday night to go over the charges of cyberspying the U.S. Justice Department has brought against China’s army.

As previously reported, the U.S. indicted five members of a unit within China’s People’s Liberation Army who are suspected of hacking into the computers of several major American businesses to steal trade secrets. China later called the charges “absurd” and denied that it is engaging in cyberspying.

“The Chinese government, the Chinese military and their relevant personnel have never engaged or participated in cyber theft of trade secrets,” Qin Gang, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said in a statement. “The U.S. accusation against Chinese personnel is purely ungrounded and absurd.”

The Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang summoned Baucus, telling the former senator that the charges violated the traditional rules of international relations. Zheng accused the U.S. of fabricating the charges, which he said will hurt the relationship between the two countries.

China has accused the U.S. of engaging in similar cyberspying activities, Zheng told Baucus and added that the U.S. needs to give a full explanation for its actions. The government has asked that the U.S. withdraw the indictment.

It is unlikely that the five officers named would ever be arrested. As Al Jazeera point out, they would only be arrested if China turned them over, they visited the U.S. for some reason or if they went to a country the U.S. has an extradition treaty with. Still, it was a symbolic move from the Obama Administration to try to show that it will not put up with cyberspying and that it was also standing up for American companies.

 

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