|Desiree Sison |||Jan 09, 2017 03:55 AM EST|
(Photo : Getty Images) China said the US' accusation that it is conducting cyber warfare operations in Beijing hotels is 'groundless' and is part of a 'smear campaign' being waged by unscrupulous groups against Beijing.
China on Friday vehemently denied the US' accusation that the Chinese military has been launching cyber attacks against Washington using two hotels in Beijing as their headquarters.
The Ministry of National Defense, in a statement released over the weekend, said the US media reports were 'outright lies' and that the accusation was part of a 'smear campaign' being waged by unscrupulous groups against Beijing.
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"The Chinese military has not supported any hacking activities," the defense ministry's statement said.
"The Chinese government has been consistent in cracking down on the criminal activities of cyber attacks in accordance with the law. The US should not make groundless claims against China," the statement added.
Beijing demanded an explanation from the US officials about the existence of a surveillance program, Prism, in which the top US security department gathers data on internet communications from top level US-based internet companies.
Last Thursday, the US media reported that the Chinese military hacking units have been holed up in two Beijing hotels reportedly owned by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA), conducting cyber attacks against the US.
Top Secret Operations
The media reports said cyber warfare has been part of Beijing's top secret operations and the military's headquarters' location in two hotels have been proven to be one of the better strategies in conducting their activities.
China and the US have been trading barbs for the past year over cyber hacking, accusing each other of committing cyber warfare and espionage.
Despite the two sides' 2015 agreement that they would not sanction computer hacking, a Chinese military personnel pleaded guilty to hacking classified US military information last July and was sentenced to four years imprisonment.
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