China has strenuously denied claims it has stolen data from US companies in a series of planned cyber attacks, and counter-claimed that it has suffered attacks originating in the US.
Earlier this week, Madiant Corp, a US-based security firm, released a report accusing China of funding a group through its People's Liberation Army which has stolen data from 141 companies in the last 10 years.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei has spoken out to deny these claims.
"Cyber attacks are anonymous and transnational, and it is hard to trace the origin of attacks, so I don't know how the findings of the report are credible," he said at a news conference earlier this week.
He added that China has itself come under attack from IP addresses which indicate a US-based origin. He claimed that Chinese computers had come under the control of machines with foreign IP addresses.
"We can only say that they originated in the US," he stated.
Recently, several media firms including The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times claimed to have been infiltrated by Chinese hackers, allegedly with ties to the government in Beijing.
The Chinese Ministry of National Defense has denied involvement.
"The Chinese military has never supported any kind of hacker activities, so saying that the Chinese military is involved in internet attacks is neither professional, nor consistent with the facts," it said earlier this week.
This conflict comes at a time when Chinese telecoms firms are being treated with suspicion in the west, and in the US especially. In late 2012, the US senate labelled Chinese telecoms hardware firm Huawei "suspicious", stating that its products should not be allowed to run US networks.
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