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World - Asia/Pacific

China rejects 'cooked-up' spying report

China denies it stole nuclear secrets and missile technology from the United States

Read the full Cox Report

Committee says Chinese spying likely 'continues to this day'

U.S. and China share long history of distrust

White House defends Reno, Berger in nuclear secrets case

Reno has survived Washington so far, but China probe may be different


May 24, 1999
Web posted at: 6:57 p.m. EDT (2257 GMT)

BEIJING (CNN) -- The Chinese government has vehemently denied charges it worked to steal U.S. nuclear secrets and missile technology, calling them "cooked-up" accusations designed to shift attention from NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia.

A U.S. House Select Committee report, due to be released Tuesday, claims Beijing has been stealing sensitive military secrets "for several decades" and that the Clinton administration was woefully slow to respond after the security breach was exposed.

China said the report was just another example of how some U.S. politicians are out to get China.

"Some people in the United States have intensified the cooked-up case of China's theft of U.S. nuclear technology and that of political contributions," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao. "They are totally driven by ulterior motives with the real purpose of encouraging the China threat theory and inciting anti-China sentiment, and shifting the people's attention from the embassy bombing case."

NATO missiles struck the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade on May 7, killing three Chinese journalists and injuring 20 others. NATO said it mistakenly targeted the embassy because of outdated maps.

The bombing sparked widespread protests in China, with many Chinese accusing the United States of intentionally striking the embassy. Beijing responded by banning U.S. warships from visiting Hong Kong, cut off most military exchanges and halted talks on human rights.

Many diplomats fear the House report will strain even further the deteriorating relationship between the United States and China.

China has accused the United States of using espionage allegations to divert attention from the May 7 NATO bombing of China's Belgrade embassy  

"I'm fairly pessimistic about Sino-U.S. relations because I think both sides are concentrating almost entirely on their domestic political constituencies," said James Mulvenon of the RAND Corp.

Analysts predict the report will strengthen opponents of Clinton's policy of engagement with China, while weakening moderates in Beijing like Premier Zhu Rongji amid a tide of Chinese nationalism.

The nationalist sentiment has filled headlines and state television programs, where soldiers vow to improve their military technology to prevent China from being "bullied" in the future.

Beijing Bureau Chief Rebecca MacKinnon contributed to this report

Shelby: Reno should resign over China espionage probe
May 23, 1999
Report: China benefited from stolen nuclear secrets
May 20, 1999
Congressman calls alleged Chinese spying 'grave'
May 16, 1999
Sources: Report finds China stole 'sensitive' nuclear data
May 14, 1999
Reno defends computer-search caution in Los Alamos case
May 13, 1999
Senate spotlights nuclear security lapses
May 12, 1999
U.S. State Department issues travel warning for China
May 10, 1999

Chinese Embassy to the U.S.
Office of the Director of Central Intelligence
Consulate General of the People's Republic of China
China Today
Department of Energy
Department of Justice
  • Attorney General Janet Reno
The White House
  • National Security Council
  • Biography of Samuel Berger
Los Alamos National Laboratory
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