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Beijing said on Friday that it firmly opposes Washington and its allies slandering China's cybersecurity, and urged the United States to withdraw cyber espionage charges against two Chinese nationals.

"We urge the United States to immediately correct the wrong practices, stop smearing the Chinese side on cyber security issues, and revoke the so-called prosecution of (the) Chinese personnel to avoid serious damage to the relations between the two countries", Hua said in a statement.

A statement from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying described the "unwarranted accusations" as a serious violation of the basic norms of global relations that was harmful to China-US cooperation. "The US made false accusations against the Chinese side on the grounds of so-called cyber stealing".

"China never conducted state-sponsored cyber attacks against Canada, let alone did it pledge that it would stop the relevant activities".

The U.S. Justice Department also is expected later on Thursday to unveil criminal charges against hackers affiliated with China's main intelligence service for an alleged cyber-spying campaign targeting U.S. and other countries' networks, according to the source.

Prosecutors have charged Zhu Hua and Zhang Jianguo in hacking attacks against the U.S. Navy, the space agency NASA and the Energy Department and dozens of companies, targeting intellectual property and corporate secrets to give Chinese companies an unfair competitive benefit.

Officials said they had been raising the activities of ATP 10 with the Chinese government for the past two years, including during Theresa May's visit to Beijing in February.

They were accused of being members of a hacking group called Advanced Persistent Threat 10 (APT10), also known as Stone Panda and Red Apollo, which acted in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security's Tianjin State Security Bureau.

The indictment was unsealed yesterday.

"China's goal, simply put, is to replace the U.S.as the world's leading superpower, and they're using illegal methods to get there", said Wray.

In this April 27, 2018 photo, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying speaks to reporters at the ministry in Beijing.

HPE said it could not comment.

"China's state-sponsored actors are the most active perpetrators of state-sponsored espionage against us".

"China's goal, simply put, is to replace the U.S. as the world's leading superpower, and they're using illegal methods to get there", said FBI Director Christopher Wray during a press conference Thursday.

The charges come amid a trade war between United States and China and the arrest earlier this month of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.

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Australia's foreign affairs and home affairs departments said APT10 was engaged in "sustained cyber intrusions" on large managed service providers, or information technology contractors globally.

More than 90 per cent of U.S. Justice Department economic espionage cases over the past seven years involve China, U.S. Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein said, and more than two-thirds of trade secrets cases are connected to the country.

Canada's Communications Security Establishment said in a statement: "Today, many of Canada's allies and partners have made statements concerning the compromise of several managed service providers".

"You can see the initial intrusion but it becomes harder to track secondary and tertiary intrusions, so there is an element about this technically which we will not know".