China says spying report 'groundless'
May 25, 1999
BEIJING (CNN) -- China on Tuesday dismissed as "groundless" accusations it had stolen U.S. nuclear and missile technology, calling the charges part of an anti-China plot in Washington.
"China has never stolen any other countries' secrets, including from the United States," an official at the Defense Ministry's information office said.
A U.S. congressional report released Tuesday claimed China has illegally obtained classified information about U.S. nuclear weapons "for decades" and was likely continuing its spying efforts today.
"These kinds of statements are groundless and have ulterior motives," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao. "The report's intention is to spread the China threat theory and whip up anti-China sentiment. We hope the U.S. government will take a clear-cut position on this issue."
Chinese academics predicted that the allegations would further irritate U.S.-Chinese relations already aggravated by disputes over human rights, Taiwan, NATO's airstrikes on Yugoslavia and its errant attack on the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, which killed three Chinese journalists.
"We had felt a lot of good will toward America and wanted to be friends," said one Chinese man. "But the U.S. has woken us up. Their intentions are not as good as we thought."
Beijing Bureau Chief Rebecca MacKinnon contributed to this report.
Report: Stolen data gives China advanced nuclear know-how
Chinese Embassy to the U.S.
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