Beijing: If the US implements retaliatory measures against China in cyber space, it "will have to shoulder responsibility for escalating confrontation", said a commentary by Xinhua news agency, warning that any form of political or economic retaliation will be met with corresponding counter-measures.
The commentary - "US should think twice before retaliating against China over unfounded hacking charges" - said that the US is on the brink of making another grave mistake under the name of protecting cyber security, as it is reportedly considering retaliatory measures against China for unfounded hacking accusations.
Senior American officials were quoted by a US daily as saying that President Barack Obama's administration was determined to retaliate against China for its alleged theft of personnel information of more than 20 million Americans from the database of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
"The decision came amid a growing chorus in the US demonizing China as the culprit behind the massive breach of the OPM computer networks. As witnessed by most past similar cases, the US government, Congress and media once again called for punishing China for this after a top US intelligence official indirectly pointed a finger at China," said the commentary.
The article said: "Obviously, cyber security has become another tool for Washington to exert pressure on China and another barrier that restrains the further development of China-US relations."
"Washington will be blamed for any adverse effects this might have on its ties with China, as all the US accusations against China were made without providing concrete evidence," it added.
It went on to say that by "repeatedly blaming China for hacking into its government computers, Washington apparently tries to portray Beijing as the No. 1 bad guy in cyber space, but this is doomed to fail because the US is the most powerful country with the most advanced cyber technologies".
The commentary observed that just like protecting its territorial sovereignty and integrity, "China is strongly determined to protect the safety of its cyber space and reserves all rights to counter any outside threats and intrusions. It will meet any form of political or economic retaliation with corresponding countermeasures".
It added: "If it stubbornly implements retaliatory measures against China in cyber space, it will be known for being a cyber bully and will have to shoulder responsibility for escalating confrontation and disrupting the peaceful order in the cyber space."