China said on Monday that tweets from President Donald Trump that Beijing was involved in a massive cyberattack on the US government were “a farce” made up for political reasons.
According to the outgoing US president, a large-scale hack by US government agencies, including the Treasury Department, was “under control” as of Saturday.
However, in a tweet thread, he undermined his own government’s assessment that Russia was behind the cyberattack, saying instead that China may have been involved as well, without providing evidence.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin stopped directly denying Beijing’s involvement, but described the US cyberattack allegations as “not serious and inconsistent”.
“The US allegations against China have always been a farce for political reasons,” Wang said at a press conference.
“The US has politicized cybersecurity issues, continually spreading false information without conclusive evidence … to destroy China’s image and mislead the international community,” he added.
In July, two Chinese nationals were charged by the US for trying to steal coronavirus vaccine research and hack hundreds of companies. This led Beijing to accuse Washington of “defamation”.
Trump’s tweets on Saturday contradicted comments made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the source and severity of the cyberattack just a day earlier, so administration spokesmen sought to reconcile the conflicting attitudes.
Pompeo previously said the breach was “pretty clearly” the work of Russia, adding that significant efforts had been made to use third-party software to “essentially embed code in US government systems.”
Cyber experts said the attack could have widespread impact and could take months to resolve.
Several US officials had pointed at Moscow, but none at Beijing.
Russia has refused to participate in the latest attack.
Trump as president has apparently downplayed obvious threats from Russia – including his refusal to recognize Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election despite the results of US intelligence.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)