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Chinese FM slams US accusation of cyber attacks by China to 'steal' US vaccines

Global Times

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/18 0:59:43

China's Foreign Ministry has slammed US accusations that China and Russia launched "cyber attacks" to "steal" US vaccines and COVID-19 treatments, and pointed out that China is a global leader in COVID-19 vaccine research and development.

Speaking in Michigan on Thursday, US Attorney General William Barr said that China-linked "hackers have targeted American universities and firms in a bid to steal (intellectual property) related to coronavirus treatments and vaccines, sometimes disrupting the work of our researchers. Beijing is desperate for a public relations coup and may hope that it will be able to claim credit for any medical breakthroughs," USA Today quoted him as saying.

"China is playing a leading role in coronavirus vaccine R&D. We have top ranking researchers, and we don't need to steal to be in the lead," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular press meeting on Friday.

China has developed five types of vaccines, with at least four vaccine candidates entering late-stage clinical trials in cooperation with other countries.

China has always been devoted to developing vaccines as a global public good, as well as making them available to all, especially developing countries, said Hua.

China does not seek monopolies or buy-outs of vaccines and coronavirus drugs as a few countries do, Hua stressed, urging all countries to promote healthy competition rather than malicious attacks.

The US National Security Agency, as well as its counterparts in Britain and Canada, all said Thursday that they're seeing persistent attempts by Russian hackers to break into organizations working on a potential coronavirus vaccine, NPC reported.

Hua said China firmly opposed cyber attacks in any form, and said that in fact the US and a few other countries had arbitrarily launched "cyber wars" against other countries, posing a threat to peace and security in the global cyberspace.

Hua urged US politicians to abandon the "Cold War mentality" because such confrontational thinking can only poison the cooperative environment and harm global cyberspace.

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