The Chinese Foreign Ministry has accused the US government of conducting large-scale “cyber theft” against Japan and other countries in Asia. The ministry called on Washington to cease its deployment of “cyber forces” worldwide. According to the ministry, US military and intelligence agencies have used their presence in allied nations under the guise of “capacity-building cooperation” to infiltrate their cyber systems.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stated that the US has carried out “large-scale, systematic, and indiscriminate cyber theft against other countries in the world.” Ning also alleged that the Pentagon aims to use China’s neighbors as a “springboard for cyber attacks against China” without their knowledge.
To support their claim, the ministry referred to a 2015 WikiLeaks publication based on leaked intelligence documents. The publication revealed that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had targeted 35 Japanese individuals and entities, including senior government officials and major corporations like Mitsubishi. The intrusion caused controversy, leading then-Vice President Joe Biden to apologize to officials in Tokyo.
The Chinese ministry’s statement follows a report in the Washington Post, which accused the Chinese military of hacking into Japan’s “sensitive defense networks” in 2020. The report, relying on unnamed ex-US officials, described the alleged cyber attack as one of the most damaging hacks in Japanese history. However, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno declined to comment, stating that there was no confirmation of leaked security information due to cyber attacks. Matsuno emphasized that cyber security remains a significant focus of US-Japanese cooperation.
Although Beijing has not directly responded to the charges, China’s state-linked Global Times news agency published commentary labeling the allegations as “another staged drama orchestrated by the US.” The article suggested that the true purpose of the story was to smear China’s image, stoke regional tensions, and damage relations with Japan.
In April, the Chinese government released a review of alleged US government cyber attacks, claiming that American intelligence agencies have been intruding on, dividing, and suppressing foreign cybersecurity vendors for years. The report highlighted several major hacking incidents, including the 2010 Stuxnet attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, which was developed by the US and Israel. It also mentioned Washington’s mass-collection surveillance program under the NSA.
The ongoing accusations and counter-accusations demonstrate the growing tensions in the cyber realm between major powers. As countries continue to develop their cyber capabilities, the need for international cooperation and regulation in this domain becomes increasingly critical to maintain stability and prevent further escalations.
(Source: RT News)