China’s Ministry of National Defense blasted the U.S. over recent allegations that it has been spying on Huawei Technologies, and said it plans to shore up the nation’s Internet security in response.
Recent reports on U.S. spying activities against China, its businesses, and people, expose the U.S.’s “hypocrisy” and “tyranny,” said Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng at a press briefing on Thursday.
“We will take effective measures to strengthen our work on Internet security,” he said without elaborating on the measures.
The comments are China’s most forceful yet on the spying allegations, following reports that the U.S. National Security Agency had allegedly been conducting cyber espionage against Huawei, a Chinese supplier of networking gear.
The allegations come from documents provided by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor who has been leaking details of U.S. spying efforts since June. By targeting Huawei, the NSA had tried to find evidence of the company’s potential ties to the Chinese military. This involved hacking into servers at Huawei’s headquarters, and planting back doors into its equipment to conduct surveillance.
The NSA has declined to comment on the Huawei allegations, but said the U.S. agency only targets “valid foreign intelligence” groups.
On Monday, Huawei said it condemned hacking activities if proved to true. Over the years, the company has faced heavy scrutiny from U.S. officials that fear Huawei’s equipment contains covert technology used by China to spy on another nations. Huawei has denied such claims, but it didn’t stop a U.S. congressional panel from labeling the firm as a security threat in 2012.
China has also fended off U.S. accusations that it sponsors hacking attacks against the nation. Early last year, a U.S. security firm called Mandiant claimed it had found evidence, tracing a large number of cyber attacks to a unit of China’s military.
But on Thursday, China’s Defense Ministry spokesman rebuffed the allegations. “Some in the U.S. have continued to accuse China of engaging in hacking attacks,” Geng said. “But the truth proves this is a sheer fiction. It’s like a thief crying out ‘Stop thief!’”
Last month, China established a new high-level government committee devoted to cyber security and information technology. In creating the new governing body, China’s president Xi Jinping said cyber security had become a national security matter.