Charge someone else's military officers with crimes and accuse one of the biggest global powers of the largest theft in human history, and it's not terribly surprising when the accused fires back.
CNBC ANCHOR: "The Chinese Defense Ministry says the government and military have never engaged — never engaged — in spying on businesses. ... The U.S. ambassador to China was summoned and warned retaliatory action will be taken."
Aside from what we have to assume was a tongue lashing to U.S. Ambassador Max Baucus, Bloomberg reports the retaliatory action so far mostly consists of China no longer helping in a cybersecurity working group. (Via U.S. Department of State, Bloomberg)
Attorney General Eric Holder's accusations only served as the most recent tensions between the U.S. and China over hacking, though Monday's charges were undeniably bold in actually naming individuals. (Via The Wall Street Journal)
China has already pointed the finger right back at the U.S. claiming hypocrisy, noting the massive spying operation detailed in leaked NSA files obtained by Edward Snowden last year.
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the U.S. charges "purely ungrounded with ulterior motives."
In a statement, a spokesperson also called China a victim. "Large amounts of publicly disclosed information show that relevant US institutions have been conducting cyber intrusion, wiretapping and surveillance activities against Chinese government departments, institutions, companies, universities and individuals."
The U.S. argues its surveillance in the name of national security was never passed along to private businesses for commercial gain. As a managing editor for Time told CNN, the Chinese culture doesn't necessarily delineate between the two.
RANA FOROOHAR, TIME ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR: "What's the difference between hacking into a company or hacking into a government for military purposes? They don't see a difference because the Chinese economy is largely run by the state."
Regardless of the criminal charges or the fact they made history, few media outlets argue this is much more than a symbolic warning and that any of the five men charged will ever see the inside of a U.S. courtroom. (Via Al Jazeera)
Holder argued the accused stole trade secrets and internal documents from five companies and a labor union.