China says hopes WikiLeaks will not affect U.S. ties

  • World
  • Tuesday, 07 Dec 2010

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Tuesday that it hoped revelations in U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks would not affect ties with Washington.

Among the leaked cables is one in which an unidentified Chinese contact alleged that the hacking of Google Inc, that led the Internet company briefly to pull out of China, was orchestrated by two members of China's Politburo, the nation's top ruling body.

"It is ridiculous and not worth mentioning," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular news conference. "We hope they will not affect bilateral ties with the United States."

Citing the cables, the New York Times said China made repeated and often successful hacking attacks on the U.S. government, private enterprises and Western allies as far back as 2002.

Alan Eustace, Google's senior vice president for engineering, declined to comment on the reports, when asked about it on Tuesday at a Google forum in Beijing.

"We have no first-hand knowledge of any of the information contained in any of those cables. I have nothing to add," he said.

Google, the world's top Internet search engine, closed its China-based search service in March, two months after it had said it would stop censoring search results in response to what it said was a sophisticated cyber attack that it traced to China and increasing limits on freedom of expression.

The dispute was resolved in July after Google tweaked the way it directs users to an unfiltered search engine.

WikiLeaks started publishing last weekend what it said were more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables, some of them about China.

According to one cable released this week, the man who is expected to be China's next head of government, Li Keqiang, told a U.S. diplomat in 2007 China's GDP figures were "man-made" and therefore unreliable.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee, Sabrina Mao and Terrill Jones; Editing by Ken Wills)

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