New Chinese premier: a “presumption of guilt” in US hacker accusations

Newly-elected Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has rejected accusations that the nation is behind cyber attacks against the US.

Following the first session of the 12 National People’s Congress, Li said he “sensed the presumption of guilt” in recent accusations levelled against China, Reuters reported.

"I think we should not make groundless accusations against each other, and spend more time doing practical things that will contribute to cyber-security," Li said.

The first comments by the new premier about China’s alleged role in cyber attacks against US organisations follow the report by US security firm Mandiant which linked Chinese military “Unit 61398” to attacks on over 100 organisations.

Repeating prior statements by Chinese Foreign Ministry officials, Li stressed that China did not support and opposed hacking and was a major target of cyber attacks.

US President Obama raised the question of hacking during a call with Li last Thursday, according to Reuters, amidst a week in which several US officials raised concerns about Chinese hacking.

US national security advisor Tom Donilon last week called for China to engage in talks to establish “acceptable norms of behaviour in cyberspace” and acknowledge the threat hacking posed to trade between the nations. China has since agreed to discuss the issues.

Li on Sunday stressed the common ground between the US and China, according to official Chinese news bureau, Xinhua.

"I don't believe conflicts between big powers are inevitable," Li said at a press conference. "Shared interests often override their disputes."

"We're willing to construct, together with the Obama Administration, a new type of relationship between big powers," he said.

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