The Chinese Defense Ministry on Thursday condemned and protested the move by the United States to indict four Chinese military personnel for cybercrimes.
On Monday, US Attorney General William Barr informed reporters that four members of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) had been indicted for breaking into credit reporting agency Equifax's systems in 2017 and stealing the names and social security numbers of at least 150 million US citizens.
"Such actions by the US side have no factual basis, this is fully an act of hegemony and judicial persecution. China in this regard expresses strong protest and condemnation," the ministry said in a statement, adding that Beijing has always stood in support for cybersecurity and condemned all cybercrimes.
According to the Chinese defense ministry, the US government has been violating international laws and orchestrating cybercrimes, including espionage and the surveillance of foreign governments and companies. The ministry also recalled the US' lack of explanations in the cases of WikiLeaks and former CIA contractor Edward Snowden.
"The US is actively resorting to double standards in matters of cybersecurity. Its actions are hypocritical. We demand that the US immediately correct its mistakes and withdraw the charges so as not to cause further damage to the relations between the two countries and their armed forces," the Defense Ministry added.
On Tuesday, Washington's move was condemned by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which also cited the US' double standards on cybersecurity.
According to media reports, the whereabouts of the accused PLA members - Wu Zhiyong, Wang Qian, Xu Ke and Liu Lei - who were charged on a nine-count indictment for breaching the Equifax computer system and stealing information, is unknown, and the possibility of them going to trial in the US was unlikely.