China ‘condemns’ Pegasus spyware surveillance

Zhao Lijian accused the U.S. of being evasive about facts while claiming cybersecurity threats from China.

China on Thursday “strongly condemned” the practice of cyber-surveillance, terming it as a common challenge to all countries as part of a wide cybersecurity threat.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remarks while reacting to reports of an investigation by a global media consortium that showed Pegasus software from Israel-based NSO Group is being used to spy on journalists, human rights activists and political dissidents across the world.

“If it is true, China issues strong condemnation,” Mr. Zhao told a media briefing while reacting to questions on the Pegasus spyware controversy from the official media here.

“Cyber surveillance is a common challenge to all countries as part of a wide cybersecurity threat,” he said.

All countries should work based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits, engage in talks and cooperation to respond to the threats, he said.

He accused the U.S. of being evasive about facts while claiming cybersecurity threats from China.

“The US is ganging up with its allies in smearing China with fabricated names. It only shows its guilty conscience. Most of the cyber-attacks come from the US,” he said.

On Monday, Mr. Zhao rejected the US and NATO allegations of China carrying out a global campaign of hacking and alleged that “under the US encouragement, NATO has made cyberspace the new battlefield” which may in turn fuel the cyber arms race.

“The US has ganged up with allies and launched unwarranted accusations against China on Cyber security,” Mr. Zhao said.

An unprecedented group of allies and partners, including the EU, the U.K., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and NATO joined the US on Monday in exposing and criticising the Chinese Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities.

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