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Chinese Cyberattack Is Denounced by UK Government; Diplomat Called

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An official dressing-down was held today at the Foreign Office for a senior Chinese diplomat, following a cyberattack on the Electoral Commission and lawmakers. This action was taken in response to the UK government’s announcement of limited sanctions against a company and two Chinese citizens for the recent hacking attacks.

The Foreign Office declared the Government’s unequivocal denunciation of Chinese state-affiliated groups and people engaged in malevolent cyberattacks directed on parliamentarians and democratic establishments in the United Kingdom. In response, the UK reaffirmed that it would not tolerate such menacing behavior and promised to act decisively with its international allies.

The prime minister’s spokesperson defended the government’s actions, highlighting its commitment to protecting vital national infrastructure and combating foreign meddling, in spite of criticism from certain MPs for not implementing stronger sanctions.

The potential of requiring Chinese state-owned businesses to register for more scrutiny in the UK under a program for foreign agents is being discussed. Details regarding the nations that might be the focus, though, have not been made public.

Meanwhile, Gillian Keegan, the secretary of education, called China a security danger and emphasized the need to strike a balance between economic and national security issues because of China’s importance as a trading partner.

China has been accused by the US and the UK of leading a worldwide campaign of hostile cyberattacks. China was publicly accused by the UK of spying on MPs and colleagues online and attacking the Electoral Commission.

Seven suspected Chinese hackers have been indicted by the US, which has denounced China for trying to use cyberespionage to jeopardize national security and weaken democracies.

The Chinese government responded to the UK’s actions by denying any role in cyberattacks and slammed the charges as politically driven and made-up. China appealed to relevant parties to desist from disseminating misinformation and to avoid turning cybersecurity challenges into political ones.

With ramifications for trade relations and international collaboration in combating cyber threats, the diplomatic spat highlights the growing tensions over cybersecurity between the UK and China.

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