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Home > Embassy News > 2011
The Chinese Embassy refutes the Financial Times' report on "China threat "in cyberspace
2011/11/11

On November 4, The Financial Times carried an article, playing up ‘China threat’ in cyberspace by citing the Report by U.S. Office of The National Counterintelligence Executive. The Embassy spokesman wrote a letter to the newspaper to refute its comment. On 11 November, The Financial Times published the main content of the letter. The entire letter is as follows:

“Sir:

I am writing with regard to your report on November 4, ‘US Goes Public with Spying Frustrations’ playing up ‘China threat’ in cyberspace. In fact, this is just the latest example of a barrage of accusations against China on cyber issues unleashed by some people in western countries, including in Britain, in an attempt to label China as ‘the biggest source of hackers’. But these allegations have no basis in facts whatsoever.

Cyberspace, just like real life, is not free from crimes. Cyber attacks are almost always anonymous and difficult to attribute. The IP address alone is far from conclusive evidence for culpability. Those with knowledge of how cyberspace works understand this: No sophisticated hackers would leave such smoking guns as real IP addresses.

Some even went so far as to insinuate hackers’ links with the Chinese government and military. This is an even more tenuous line of logic. Should we conclude that British hackers attacking the WhiteHouse.gov were acting on instructions from Whitehall?

The Chinese government condemns online criminality in all forms, including cyber attacks, and is committed to doing all it can to combat such activities. The fact is that China itself faces a rapid rise of cyber-crimes and attacks. According to the 2010 report by the China National Computer Emergency Response Team (CNCERT), nearly half of Trojan server and Zombie server attacks on Chinese computer systems came from outside our country.

Hacking, like any other transnational crime, cannot be addressed effectively by any country alone. The only solution is through enhanced global cooperation based on equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit.

From 2004 to 2010, Chinese police helped 41 countries investigate 721 cyber-cases. And we have institutionalized inter-police cooperation with Britain and over 30 other countries. But few of those entities and individuals claiming to be victims of Chinese hacker attacks have ever reported a crime or else sought law enforcement assistance from China. True believers in the rule of law don’t go to the press to hunt criminals. This is not the way to protect international cyber-security either.

Earlier this month, at the London Conference on Cyberspace, China called for consultations on reaching an international legal instrument under the UN framework to battle cyber-crime. We want to work with Britain and other countries to build an open, healthy and safe cyber-environment.

To get there, what we need is cooperation, not a blame game.”

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