(Orginal Source Al Jazeera
) - The United States announced a first ever indictment of cyberespionage against China on Monday accusing Chinese military officials of hacking US companies in order to gain trade secrets and other intellectual property.
Attorney General Eric Holder says the companies that have been affected by the hacking are Alcoa World Alumina, Westinghouse Electric, Allegheny Technologies, U.S. Steel and SolarWorld as well as the United Steelworkers union.
“It is our hope that the Chinese government will respect our criminal justice system,” Holder said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang denied the accusation, calling them ‘absurd’.
“The U.S. accusation against Chinese personnel is purely ungrounded,” and lacks “sincerity” Qin stated.
The indictment is expected to further dampen US-Chinese relations which have become recently strained by the US’ backing of Japan in its island territorial disputes with China.