China downplays Hillary Clinton claim it hacked U.S. information

China downplays Hillary Clinton claim it hacked U.S. information
Democratic presidental candidate Hillary Clinton marches in the Gorham fourth of July parade July 4, 2015 in Gorham, New Hampshire.
PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING - China on Monday downplayed an accusation by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that Beijing had tried to "hack into everything that doesn't move in America".

At a campaign event in New Hampshire on Saturday, Clinton said the U.S. must be "fully vigilant" about China's military, adding that Beijing had stolen commercial secrets from defence contractors and "huge amounts of government information".

Beijing has in the past expressed outrage over U.S. government claims it engages in state-sponsored hacking of commercial information, saying China is itself a victim of hacking attacks.

Asked about Clinton's remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the two sides had taken a"constructive spirit" in tackling the issue. "China and the U.S. have taken a constructive spirit and approach to strengthening dialogue and cooperation to jointly face various challenges in line with the interests of both sides in a way that is conducive to peace and prosperity in the region and the world," Hua told a regular news briefing.

Clinton is the front-runner to win the Democratic nomination for the November 2016 presidential election.

In the most recent case involving suspicions of Chinese hacking, Obama administration officials have said China is the top suspect in the massive hacking of a U.S. government agency that compromised the personnel records of at least 4.2 million current and former government workers.

China has denied hacking into the computers of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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