BEIJING (AP) -- Recent allegations of Chinese hacking of Pentagon defense programs are faulty and underestimate China's ability to produce its own defensive weaponry, the country's Defense Ministry said Thursday.
Newly publicized claims allege that China employed cyberattacks to access data from nearly 40 Pentagon weapons programs and almost 30 other defense technologies ranging from missile defense systems to the F-35 joint strike fighter. The disclosure was included in a Defense Science Board report released earlier this year but which was only made public this week.
The U.S. claims contain "errors in judgment," Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng told reporters at a monthly news conference.
"First, they underestimate the American Pentagon's ability to protect its safety, and second, they underestimate the intelligence of the Chinese people," Geng said. "China is entirely capable of producing the weaponry needed for national defense," he added, pointing to recent domestic technological breakthroughs such as the country's first aircraft carrier, new generation fighter jets, large transport planes and the Beidou satellite system.
China has consistently denied claims its military is engaged in hacking, including those in a report by U.S. cybersecurity firm Mandiant that traced the hacking back to a People's Liberation Army unit based in Shanghai.