BEIJING China's Foreign Ministry issued a strongly-worded statement on Monday, saying a U.S. grand jury indictment of five Chinese military officials was "made up" and would "damage Sino-American cooperation and mutual trust".
"The Chinese government's stance on the issue of Internet security is consistent and clear," said the statement from Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang, which urged "immediate rectification".
"China is a staunch defender of network security, and the Chinese government, military and associated personnel have never engaged in online theft of trade secrets," the statement said.
A U.S. grand jury indicted five Chinese individuals on cyber espionage charges for allegedly targeting six American companies and stealing trade secrets, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday, publicly accusing China of cyber spying for the first time.
(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Kevin Liffey)