China on Tuesday called the US a “hacking empire” of the world, urging Washington to stop "malicious" online activities after reports US hackers were involved in subverting a network in China so they could launch attacks on Russia and Belarus.
“China is gravely concerned about cyberattacks against other countries that originate from the US and use China as a springboard,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told media persons during a press briefing a day earlier, RT reported.
Lijian was apparently commenting on recent reports in Chinese media that hackers mainly belonging to the US as well as from Nato members Germany and the Netherlands hijacked a computer network in China to carry out cyberattacks, 87 per cent of which aimed at Russia.
“Against the background of the Ukraine situation, such a move may produce the negative effect of misleading the international community and spreading disinformation,” Zhao cautioned, as he pointed out that “a former US senior official called publicly for launching cyberattacks on Russia not long ago.”
Also read: Ukraine calls on hacker underground to defend against Russia
Former US secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was reported to have made the calls during an MSNBC interview broadcast in late February.
While Beijing appears unaware of the exact role of the US government in the said attack, or whether it was linked to the “long practice of smearing China in cyberspace”, the spokesperson urged Washington to “adopt a more responsible attitude.”
On Monday, The United States warned China against providing military or financial help to Moscow after its invasion of Ukraine, as sanctions on Russian political and business leaders mounted and civilians sought to flee intense fighting on the ground.
According to US officials, Russia has asked for military and economic support from Beijing, which signalled a willingness to provide aid.
Moscow denies that, saying it has sufficient resources to fulfil all of its aims. China's foreign ministry has labelled the reports on assistance as "disinformation".