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China State Media Calls U.S. ‘Hacking Empire’ After Allegations

The official newspaper of China’s Communist Party responded today to a Pentagon report that accused the Chinese military of cyber espionage by calling the U.S. the “real hacking empire.”

The U.S. has an extensive cyber espionage network that targets hostile countries as well as its allies, said a commentary published today that was attributed to an author identified as Zhong Sheng, a name that’s a homonym in Chinese for “voice of China.” The allegations in the Pentagon’s May 6 report create an “imaginary enemy,” it said.

Concern that the breach of U.S. corporate and government computers may give China access to confidential information has weighed on ties between the world’s two biggest economies as they also seek to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, limit Iran’s development of nuclear technology and support global growth. The two nations have agreed to form a working group on cybersecurity issues, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said during a visit to Beijing last month.

The Pentagon report this week said China has targeted U.S. government computers with intrusions that seek sensitive data. The incursions “appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military,” it said.

The U.S. has been preparing for an “online war” since it set up its cyber espionage network, the People’s Daily commentary said.

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