US hacking accusation against China reflects 'rising McCarthyism'

By Chen Qingqing and Bai Yunyi Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/21 18:08:40

Fear ‘distorts’ Washington’s decision-making

Photo: VCG

 Chinese officials and experts on Friday strongly condemned the latest US Justice Department hacking allegation against China, warning that rising McCarthyism in the US has distorted Washington's judgment and decision-making.

US Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted two Chinese men, accusing them of being part of hacker group APT10, who allegedly worked with China's Ministry of State Security to hack 45 US companies, stealing trade secrets by using malware, according to a statement issued by DOJ on Thursday night.

It also accused China of using its industrial policy - Made in China 2025 - to steal ideas from companies in other nations to benefit its own industries.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry (FM) blasted the accusations on Friday, saying the US is "fabricating a story," "making something out of nothing" and splashing "groundless accusations" on China.

Calling the move "fully odious in nature" and "severely damaging China-US cooperation," the ministry said China lodged solemn representations with the US and urged it to withdraw the charges.

China's stance on cyber security is clear and consistent. Chinese government has never engaged in, or supported anyone in any form to steal trade secrets, FM spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement released on the ministry's website.

"The US has for a long time launched large-scale and organized information monitoring and stealing activities on foreign governments, enterprises and individuals, which is an open secret," said Hua.

At the routine press conference held Friday afternoon, Hua also harshly slammed the accusations.

The US used to make accusations against China, attributing them to unnamed sources with purportedly reliable figures, while it's not the first, or second time that the allegations have proven to be false, said Hua.

As the world's biggest power, the US is not only selfish with quite a big ego, it also employs the meanest of tricks, or fabricates stories to suppress other countries' legitimate rights to development, said the spokesperson.

"The practices do no good to world peace and stability and are also not beneficial to its own interests in the long run," said Hua.

"They may think a lie would turn into a fact if it is repeated a thousand times, but I want to tell them that a lie is a lie, even if it were spoken 10,000 times," said Hua.

US anxiety

US anxiety has led to its misconduct and disorder and China should take legal measures against all US hackers, either institutions or individuals, and should kick out those American banks and companies that have been cooperating with the US government for information gathering, said Shen Yi, head of Fudan University's Cyberspace Governance Research Institute.

"And don't forget the Snowden incident, China is the largest victim of cyber hacking, and the US is the largest hacker worldwide," he noted.

According to public information, since at least 2000, the Equation Group, a hacking group under the US National Security Agency, has invaded important parts of the global internet, Xiao Xinguang, chief technical architect of Beijing-based Antiy Lab, told the Global Times in an earlier interview in December.

The US has the largest engineering system in the world that supports signal intelligence and cyber attack operations, said Xiao.

It also has the world's largest cyberspace attack arsenal, including advanced malicious code covering all system platforms, a large number of exploit tools, attack platforms and devices for undisclosed vulnerabilities, he said.

The latest DOJ announcement reflects US ignorance, which is also in line with its latest moves of targeting Chinese companies like Huawei on the pretext of national security, Wang Yiwei, senior fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.

"The US has become so arrogant that it believes that China has risen to be a major economic power thanks to US technologies and ideas, and it has been lobbying its major allies to buy this claim," said Wang.

According to the DOJ statement, two alleged Chinese hackers worked for a company in China called Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company and acted in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security's Tianjin State Security Bureau.

The Global Times could not reach Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Devleopment Company for comment on Friday as of press time.

The company, based in Tianjin, was registered in January 2010 with 1 million yuan ($144,800), according to financial information site It is involved in business ranging from software development to retail.

Fears and concerns

The DOJ accusation comes after China and the US called a temporary truce in their tit-for-tat trade spat. Challenges to bilateral ties arose after Canada detained a senior Huawei executive on US request.

On Thursday, China also slammed the US for passing a legislation that is aimed at denying Chinese officials allegedly responsible for restricting access to Tibet, entry into the US.

The legislation comes months after US President Donald Trump signed the Taiwan Travel Act in March, which encourages visits between the US and the island's officials at all levels.

China regards Taiwan, Tibet and South China Sea as matters of its "core interests."

Calling the recent incidents resembling the features of McCarthyism, Chinese analysts warned that the US is trying to contain China with judicial, administrative and legislative organs, as well as support from intelligence agencies.

Ni Feng, deputy director of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that compared with McCarthyism during the Cold War, the US' fear of China has now gone beyond the ideological level.

The US' current moves targeting Chinese technology companies and entrepreneurs have been prompted by anxiety that the US might be surpassed in national capability and technological competence, Ni told the Global Times on Friday.

Ni warned that to prevent the recurrence of McCarthyism or "Red Terror," China should also seek to reach out to the US public as concerns and hostility toward Beijing has not spilled into the public domain.

Newspaper headline: Spy slander on China shows rising McCarthyism in US

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