BEIJING (AP) ― China called for a halt Tuesday to what it called unscrupulous U.S. cyberspying, saying that a monthslong investigation into reports on the “ugly face” of U.S. espionage has concluded that China is a major target of those efforts.
The complaint in the form of a government agency report comes a week after U.S. prosecutors charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into American companies to steal trade secrets.
The report by China’s Internet Media Research Center, cited Tuesday by the official Xinhua News Agency, mentioned media reports of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks and said a subsequent investigation by Chinese authorities “confirmed the existence of snooping activities directed against China.”
“As a superpower, the United States takes advantage of its political, economic, military and technological hegemony to unscrupulously monitor other countries, including its allies,” said the report, dated Monday.
“The United States’ spying operations have gone far beyond the legal rationale of ’antiterrorism‘ and have exposed its ugly face of pursuing self-interest in complete disregard of moral integrity.”
It said these operations had “flagrantly breached International laws, seriously infringed upon the human rights and put global cyber security under threat. They deserve to be rejected and condemned by the whole world.”
The Internet Media Research Center is overseen by the State Council Information Office, the Cabinet’s press office.
U.S. federal prosecutors say the five Chinese military officers targeted big-name American makers of nuclear and solar technology, stealing confidential business information, sensitive trade secrets and internal communications for competitive advantage.
China has objected strongly to the charges. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China’s government and military had never participated in any activity related to the cyber theft of trade secrets and that China had been a victim of U.S. spying.