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China calls US accusation of hacking COVID-19 research 'slander'

China calls US accusation of hacking COVID-19 research 'slander'

A medical worker prepares to test a man for the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. (Photo: AFP/Hector RETAMAL)

BEIJING: China said on Thursday (May 14) that it is opposed to what it called slander from the United States, which has accused Chinese hackers of trying to steal US COVID-19 research.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian added on that any action online to sabotage efforts against the disease should be condemned.

On Wednesday, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned that organisations researching COVID-19 treatments and vaccines were at risk of “targeting and network compromise by the People’s Republic of China”.

“China's efforts to target these sectors pose a significant threat to our nation’s response to COVID-19,” they said.

Both organisations gave no evidence or examples to support the allegation.

Beijing has repeatedly denied the US accusations.

The war of words has added to the growing battle between the two superpowers over the coronavirus pandemic that began in China.

China on Thursday also said that it will step up testing and screening to prevent a rebound of the outbreak that has killed more than 4,600 in its mainland territories.

National Health Commission spokeswoman Song Shuli made the remarks during a daily press briefing.

Numbers of new COVID-19 cases reported on a daily basis have fallen sharply from those seen at the height of the epidemic in February, but an increase in new cases in the country's northeastern provinces such as Jilin and Liaoning have raised fresh concerns for Beijing.

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Source: Reuters/dv

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