China yesterday described as "groundless" and a product of "Cold War mentality" reports claiming hackers, on the instructions of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), had broken into a Pentagon network.
The Financial Times, citing unidentified former and serving US officials, said yesterday that PLA hackers had broken into a US Defense Department network in June to steal data, forcing the shutdown of a system serving department secretary Robert Gates.
"The Chinese government has consistently opposed and vigorously attacked all Internet crimes, including hacking," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular news briefing in Beijing yesterday.
China itself is a victim of online attacks, she said.
A Symantec Internet Security Threat Report released in March found that the US is the source of about 31 percent of all malicious computer activities, more than four times that of China (7 percent) and Germany (7 percent).
And 51 percent of the servers used for buying or selling stolen personal information were in the US, the report said.
Experts have said that hackers in other countries could use insecure computers and networks in China to disguise their locations and launch attacks.
Group Established to Tackle Climate Change
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has established a group of leaders to participate in the international work on climate change, Jiang announced Tuesday.
The group was headed by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and has two deputy heads, Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai.
"The Ministry's move is not only an important step towards implementing China's national action response plan for climate change, but it also shows the Chinese government's active participation in the international cooperation on responding to climate change," said Jiang..
Jiang added that the Foreign Ministry has appointed Yu Qingtai, former Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania as the special representative for climate change negotiations.
Taiwan referendum condemned
Jiang said that opposing "Taiwan independence" is in the common interests of both China and the United States.
Jiang confirmed that President Hu Jintao and his US counterpart George W. Bush would meet on the sidelines of the 15th APEC economic leaders informal meeting slated for Sept. 3-9 in Sydney, Australia, but did not say whether their meeting would touch on the referendum plan created by Taiwan authorities.
She repeated China's hope that the US will strictly adhere to its committed stance on the one-China policy, abiding by the three joint communiqués between China and the US and opposing "Taiwan independence," and work with China to jointly safeguard peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
Jiang said the actions of Taiwan authorities concerning the referendum plan are secessionist acts that attempt to separate Taiwan from China.
"We resolutely oppose it and will closely follow development of the situation," said Jiang.
Arms sale charge denied
Jiang said China has a strict system of management over arms exports and only sells weapons to sovereign states.
Jiang's remark came in response to news reports that some weapons used by the Taliban in Afghanistan were from China.
Jiang refuted the reports as "groundless," saying that China has always adopted a prudent and responsible attitude towards arms exports and imposes strict controls over such exports according to China's international obligations and domestic laws and regulations.
Jiang said that China exports fewer weapons to other countries in terms of both quality and quantity when compared with what some developed countries do, and China requires that importing countries must see to it that no arms exports from China be transferred to a third party.
China has also supported international efforts to curb illegal small arms trade, Jiang added.
N Korea-US talks
China hopes the representatives involved in the six-party talks can steadily push forward, but no specific date has yet been set for the second phase of the sixth round of the six-party talks.
Jiang said China hopes all involved would gradually implement the agreements already reached in accordance with the principle of "mutual trust, mutual interaction, mutual assistance, and mutual benefit" in a balanced way.
Commenting on the bilateral working group talks between the US and North Korea, Jiang said China welcomes the positive progress made in the talks.
Working groups from Japan and North Korea will hold their second meeting on normalizing bilateral relations on Wednesday in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator. Jiang said China also supported the improvement of relations between the two countries and hopes to see positive results from the meeting.
Child labor accusation refuted
China refuted overseas groups' accusations about child labor abuse, saying the country attaches particularly great importance to protecting the rights and interests of children.
Jiang noted that the Chinese government has always respected internationally recognized labor rights and interests and relevant labor standards.
China has signed eight core conventions proposed by the International Labor Organization on protecting labor rights and interests, including a convention on minimum age for employment and a convention forbidding child labor, Jiang noted.
The Chinese government also takes law enforcement measures and administrative measures to protect the rights and interests of children so as to promote the overall development of the whole nation.
(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily September 5, 2007)