China denies cyber attacks on US targeting exiled tycoon
Guo Wengui has leveled allegations of espionage against China and of corruption against senior Communist Party officials, and is seeking asylum in the US
China has denied responsibility for alleged cyber attacks in the United States that appear to have targeted Guo Wengui, an exiled tycoon who has leveled corruption allegations against senior Communist Party officials and applied for political asylum in the US.
The Ministry of Public Security said in a statement provided to Reuters on Sunday that an investigation had found “no evidence” of Chinese government involvement in the alleged cyber attacks.
The law enforcement agency said China had also provided the US government with evidence that Guo fabricated documents used to support his claims. It said China would make an official request for US authorities to investigate the matter.
“The falsified official documents and the false information he fabricated are sensational and outrageous,” the ministry said in a rare English-language statement.
Guo denied the documents were forged and said the Ministry of Public Security’s statement should not be believed.
The Washington-based Hudson Institute think tank was scheduled to host Guo last Wednesday in a rare public appearance, but cancelled the event the day before without explanation.
The event would have coincided with the visit of an official Chinese delegation to the US capital for a high-level law enforcement and cyber security dialogue between the two countries.
The Hudson Institute said it had detected a Shanghai-originated attack aimed at shutting down access to its website several days earlier.
The suspected attack was raised by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a meeting with China’s Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun on Wednesday, a Department of Justice spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.
China had “pledged to cooperate,” the spokesman said.
However, New York-based Guo Wengui said in comments to Reuters: “Just because the Ministry of Public Security said China didn’t do it doesn’t make it true. Why did the US raise it in their meeting?”
Guo Wengui applied for political asylum in the US September, but has revealed that the law firm representing him, Clark Hill PLC, had backed out after being targeted by Chinese hackers.
“Just because the Ministry of Public Security said China didn’t do it doesn’t make it true. Why did the US raise it in their meeting?”
Clark Hill lawyer Thomas Ragland, who lodged the asylum claim, confirmed he was no longer representing Guo Wengui, without elaborating.
Guo held a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington on Thursday, after his Hudson event was called off. In it he produced what he claimed were “top secret” official documents showing China had sent secret agents into the US.
China’s Ministry of Public Security said the documents shown by him were “clumsily forged” and “full of obvious mistakes”.
Guo Wengui has made wide-ranging corruption allegations against senior Communist Party leaders through a daily stream of Twitter and YouTube posts since the start of the year. He says these are aimed at disrupting a key five-yearly Communist Party congress that begins next week.
The Chinese government has been seeking to discredit Guo Wengui, who is the subject of an Interpol red notice issued at Beijing’s request, as a criminal suspect who should not be trusted.