BEIJING (AP) — China's foreign ministry says the cyber-espionage charges announced today in Washington are based on "fabricated facts."
In a statement, Chinese officials say the charges will jeopardize what it calls "cooperation and mutual trust" between the two countries.
The charges were brought against five Chinese military officials. They're accused of hacking into U.S. companies -- including Alcoa, Westinghouse and U.S. Steel -- in order to get trade secrets.
The Chinese statement says Beijing is "steadfast in upholding cybersecurity." It says, "The Chinese government, the Chinese military and their relevant personnel have never engaged or participated in cyber theft of trade secrets." The statement calls the charges "purely ungrounded and absurd."
U.S. officials have previously asserted that China's army and China-based hackers had launched attacks on American industrial and military targets, often to steal secrets or intellectual property. China has said that it faces a major threat from hackers, and the country's military is believed to be among the biggest targets of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command.