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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

China Calls Hack Talk Groundless

BEIJING -- Accusations that the Chinese military hacked into U.S. Defense Department computers are "groundless," China said Tuesday.

The Financial Times said the People's Liberation Army hacked into a computer system in the office of Defense Secretary Robert Gates in June, citing unidentified officials. The attack forced officials to take down the network for more than a week, the newspaper said.

"Some people make groundless accusations against China" that its military attacked the Pentagon, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular news briefing.

The report said the Pentagon was still investigating how much information was stolen, but cited a source as saying most of it was probably unclassified.

It was the second time in two weeks that China was accused of hacking into a foreign government's computers. On the eve of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Beijing, the weekly Der Spiegel said computers at the chancellery and three ministries had been infected with spy programs.

The report, which did not specify its sources, said Germany's domestic intelligence agency believed a group of hackers associated with the People's Liberation Army might have been behind the alleged hacking.

At the time, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called the incident a "matter of grave concern" and said China would take "firm and effective action" to prevent such crimes.