BEIJING - China yesterday denied any state involvement in cyber attacks on Google and accused the US of double standards as a row with Washington over Internet freedom intensified.
Beijing fired off its latest salvo after the White House said President Barack Obama was "troubled" by Google's statements it had been attacked by China-based hackers, and demanded official answers.
The US Internet giant has threatened to abandon its Chinese search engine, and perhaps end all operations in the country over the cyber attacks. It has also said it is no longer willing to bow to Chinese government censors.
But China said the hacking charges were without foundation.
The "accusation that the Chinese government participated in (any) cyber attack, either in an explicit or inexplicit way, is groundless and aims to denigrate China", an unnamed spokesperson for the ministry of industry and information technology told state news agency Xinhua.
"We are firmly opposed to that," the spokesperson said.
"China's policy on Internet safety is transparent and consistent," he added, saying the country with the world's largest online community was itself the "biggest victim" of hacking.
The Global Times went further, saying the United States itself was a major source of hack attacks.
It added that Washington had a "cyber army of 80000 people equipped with over 2000 computer viruses," citing a US defence expert, Joel Harker.
The Global Times also hit out at what it called "Washington's continuous resort to double standards" and said Western criticism of China's Internet policies came "either out of ignorance of the facts, or a Cold War mentality". - Sapa-AFP