Beijing urges London to cease defamation of China with cyberattack claims

China considers the accusations of cyberattacks by the United Kingdom and its allies “tales” and calls on London to stop spreading defamation directed against Beijing to prevent damage to bilateral cooperation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

On Thursday, the US Justice Department indicted two Chinese citizens for cyberattacks targeting the United States and 11 other countries in the interest of the Chinese intelligence. The UK Foreign Office then issued a statement expressing London’s solidarity with the United States and claiming that China was responsible for cyberattacks against several countries.

“The United Kingdom and other countries have also slandered China in terms of cybersecurity. [By disseminating] these clear tales [the United Kingdom and its allies] are pursuing their own goals. We cannot accept that and voice our strong protest,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. Beijing has called on London to respect facts and cease disseminating intentionally defamation targeting China in order to prevent deterioration of bilateral relations.

China has recently faced a series of accusations of cyberattacks by the United States and its allies. In the most recent case Beijing was blamed for compromising system of the Mariott International hotel chain. In November, Mariott International said that that personal data of up to 500 million guests was stolen as a result of a cyberattack. Information on 327 million guests included names, postal and email addresses, phone numbers, passport details, birth dates, gender, and check-in records.

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