China accuses US of starting 'internet war'

Posted by Emma Woollacott

A group of Chinese academics from a military academy has accused the US government of creating a global internet war.

The group doesn't refer directly to Google's claims that this week's attack on the Gmail accounts of US government officials originated in China - but was struck, perhaps, by the coincidence of the episode coming so soon after US calls for such attacks to be treated as acts of war.

The group, writing in the government-controlled China Youth Daily newspaper, accuses the US of launching an 'internet war' against Arab nations, Reuter reports.

"Of late, an internet tornado has swept across the world ... massively impacting and shocking the globe. Behind all this lies the shadow of America," it reads.

The article calls on the Chinese government to maintain an 'internet border' - the filtering system known as the Great Firewall of China'.

Google says it's traced the government attacks to China's Shangdong province, where, it says, a national-security arm of the People's Liberation Armyis based - a claim which the Chinese government strongly denies. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei says the allegation is 'unacceptable' and 'a fabrication'.

The state-run Xinhua news agency has criticized the US government for suggesting that a cyberattack could be legitimate grounds for military action.