Top analysts yesterday refuted claims by researchers hired by the Dalai Lama that China runs a cyper spy network, branding them "exaggerated" and an attempt to paint the nation as a "threat".
China was accused of using malicious software to infiltrate and take control of almost 1,300 computers in 103 countries, including those used in several foreign ministries, embassies and the private office of the exiled Tibetan politician.
"This is purely another political issue that the West is trying to exaggerate," said Song Xiaojun, a Beijing-based strategy and military analyst. "As China grows, some in the West are trying every opportunity to manufacture fears over China's threat."
The claims were made in The Snooping Dragon: Social Malware Surveillance of the Tibetan Movement, a report released by the Information Warfare Monitor, which is made up of researchers from an Ottawa-based think tank and the University of Toronto, reported the New York Times.
The researchers, who were commissioned by the Dalai Lama to examine its computers for signs of bugging, said they had found the foreign ministries of Iran, Bangladesh, Latvia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Barbados and Bhutan had been targeted.
"Cyber security has been a global issue, but this time those who see China as an emerging threat again have picked the subject as a new weapon," Zhu Feng, a professor with the school of international studies at Peking University, said.