December 22, 2014 / 2:48 AM / 4 years ago

China tells U.S. opposes all forms of cyber attacks, 'terrorism'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Beijing November 7, 2014. REUTERS/Nicholas Kamm/Pool

BEIJING (Reuters) - China opposes all forms of cyberattacks and cyber “terrorism”, the country’s foreign minister told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks in a telephone call with Kerry on Sunday night, according to a statement posted on the foreign ministry’s website on Monday. The conversation included the devastating cyberattack on Sony Pictures, but the statement made no direct mention of North Korea, blamed by Washington for the incident.

The United States has asked China, among other nations, to help combat similar attacks.

China opposes any country or person using other nations’ internal facilities to conduct cyber attacks on third-party countries, Wang told Kerry.

“Wang Yi reaffirmed China’s relevant position, emphasising China opposes all forms of cyberattacks and cyber terrorism,” the statement said. “(China) opposes any country or individual using other countries’ domestic facilities to conduct cyberattacks on third-party nations.”

North Korea has denied it was responsible for the hacking on Sony Pictures.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Sunday the hacking was not an act of war but a costly case of cyber vandalism. The Obama administration is still weighing how to punish Pyongyang, which has a long-standing dispute with Washington over its banned nuclear weapons programme.

The hack attack and subsequent threats of violence against theatres showing “The Interview”, a fictional film depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, prompted Sony to halt the film’s release.

Reporting By Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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