The United States and its allies accused China on Monday of a global cyberespionage campaign, mustering an unusually broad coalition of countries to publicly call out Beijing for hacking.
The United States was joined by NATO, the European Union, Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan and New Zealand in condemning the spying, which U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said posed “a major threat to our economic and national security.”
Simultaneously, the U.S. Department of Justice charged four Chinese nationals – three security officials and one contract hacker – with targeting dozens of companies, universities and government agencies in the United States and abroad.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Liu Pengyu, called the accusations against China “irresponsible.”
“The Chinese government and relevant personnel never engage in cyber attacks or cyber theft,” Liu said in a statement.
At an event about the administration’s infrastructure plan, U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters: “My understanding is that the Chinese government, not unlike the Russian government, is not doing this themselves, but are protecting those who are doing it. And maybe even accommodating them being able to do it.”