(Removes extraneous word from headline)
BEIJING May 21 Chinese state media labelled the
United States a "mincing rascal" and "high-level hooligan" on
Wednesday in response to Washington charging five Chinese
military officers with hacking U.S. companies to steal trade
The indictment on Monday was the first criminal hacking
charge the U.S. has filed against specific foreign officials,
and follows a rise in public criticism and private confrontation
between the world's two biggest economies over cyber espionage.
As a first response, China suspended a Sino-U.S. working
group on cyber issues. In an editorial, the Global Times, an
influential tabloid run by the People's Daily, the official
newspaper of China's Communist Party, said this was the "right
move, but we should take further actions."
"We should encourage organizations and individuals whose
rights have been infringed to stand up and sue Washington," the
newspaper said. "Regarding the issue of network security, the
U.S. is such a mincing rascal that we must stop developing any
illusions about it."
The Chinese-language version of the Global Times called the
United States a "high-level hooligan".
Washington's legal approach against China is "high-handed
and hypocritical", the People's Daily said, citing media reports
that the U.S. National Security Administration (NSA) spied on
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
"Suspending the operations of a bilateral group on cyber
affairs is a reasonable start, but more countermeasures should
be prepared in case Washington obstinately sticks to the wrong
track," state news agency Xinhua said in a commentary on
Tuesday. "Otherwise, it should take full responsibility for the
consequences of the farce that features itself as a robber
China summoned the U.S. ambassador on Monday, hours after
the indictment, warning Washington it could take further action,
the foreign ministry said.
The cyber spying charges are likely to further sour ties
between China and the United States, already under strain from a
range of issues, including human rights, trade disputes and
China's growing military assertiveness in contested seas.
On Wednesday, however, Du Yuejin, a top official in charge
of internet security, was making a rare address to members of
the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing on "the current
global deficit of trust on cybersecurity".
While China is unlikely to hand over the five officers
charged, the indictment would prevent them from travelling to
the U.S. or any country with an extradition agreement with the
(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)