Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks

CCTV: The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the US said in a report released on July 20 that the US government identified and tracked 23 US natural gas pipeline operators targeted from 2011 to 2013 by an intrusion campaign, which they believe was conducted by state-sponsored Chinese actors. Do you have any response?

Zhao Lijian: This so-called report of the US side is confusing right with wrong and like a thief crying “stop thief”. China firmly opposes and combats cyber attack in all its forms. This position is consistent and clear-cut.

In fact, the US is the largest source of cyber attacks targeting China. Data show that in 2020, relevant Chinese institutions captured 42 million malicious program samples. Of those originating overseas, 53% are from the US. If there is a ranking of hacking states, nobody other than the US can claim the top spot.

The US doesn’t even spare its allies in tapping and surveillance. Wikileaks revealed in 2015 that the National Security Agency (NSA) spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone for many years and targeted for long-term surveillance 125 phone numbers of top German officials, and also eavesdropped on French Presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. According to a report by Danish broadcaster DR, the NSA used a partnership with Denmark's foreign intelligence unit to spy on calls and chat messages to and from telephones of senior officials of European countries in Germany, France, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Documents leaked by Snowden on the US surveillance program Stateroom show that the US has been operating a highly secretive signals intelligence collection program in almost a hundred U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. Another case in point is the Crypto AG scandal. The Swiss company, founded more than half a century ago and specializing in communications and information security, was actually a puppet of the CIA, and the devices it sold to over 120 countries were rigged so that the CIA could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages.

People can tell right from wrong. The US has not a shred of credibility left on the issue of cyber security, making whatever it says more than dubious.

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