Beijing has rejected a new US report claiming the Chinese army had sponsored cyber-attacks for economic and military gain and said the accusations could harm cooperation against the increasing global threat of cyber-crimes.

Senior Col. Wang Xinjun, a researcher at the People’s Liberation Army, said the allegations in the latest Pentagon report are “irresponsible and harmful to the mutual trust” between the two countries, the official Xinhua News Agency quoted him as saying.

“The Chinese government and armed forces have never sanctioned hacking activities,” Wang said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hu Chunying reiterated that China opposes cyber-attacks and lashed out at “groundless accusations” from the US that could harm prospects for cooperation.

“We are willing to hold even-tempered and constructive dialogue with the US,” Hua said, adding that both sides should join forces against cyber criminals.

The annual Pentagon report released on May 6 said “at least some attacks” on US government and other computer systems appeared to be “attributable directly” to the Chinese government and military. It also said China targeted US diplomatic, economic and defence programs, and is developing cyber capabilities needed to conduct cyber-warfare, reports the Associated Press.