A Chinese government official has charged governing bodies to devise global hacking rules.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told reporters at the National People's Congress in Beijing a detailed analysis from forensic firm Mandiant of an alleged military-led Chinese cyber espionage operation against more than 100 organisations in the US was an attempt to sully China's name.
“There have been quite a few reports about hacker attacks recently, and many of them picked on China,” Jiechi said, according to Bloomberg.
“These articles may have crossed the eyes of many people, but actually they are built on shaky ground.”
Jiechi was reported to have said China had strict laws in place that forbid espionage-style hacking adding that the country proposed international rules which – with the aid of the United Nations – would have helped govern malicious internet use.
“What this cyber space needs is not war, but rules and cooperation,” Yang said.
In December, the United States balked at internet rules proposed to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN agency that focuses on concerns and standards in information and communication technologies.
The United States ultimately refused to sign an amended version of the regulations, though China and Russia were among the 89 countries that supported the rules.
Martin Libicki, senior management scientist at global policy think tank RAND said previous attempts to create global internet regulations were unsuccessful because it allowed countries like China and Russia to "rule the internet in their countries".
He added that internet regulation has not proven to be a “field in which governments have much to contribute.”
Many countries were engaged in online espionage, according to Libicki, but there was difference between targeting governments and private corporations.
“One of the lessons of the Mandiant report, which was not unique, but the best done of its class, is you can have all the smoke you want, but [those responsible] won't necessarily admit to lighting the fire,” Libicki said.
President Obama, through comments delivered by his national security adviser to the Asia Society in New York, called for China to stop raiding US organisations of intellectual property, according to the New York Times.