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China Not Behind Hackings in U.S. Allegedly Related to Fugitive Guo Wengui, Public Security Ministry Says

By Han Wei
The Chinese ministry asked the U.S. to hand over information on the alleged incidents so that it could help
The Chinese ministry asked the U.S. to hand over information on the alleged incidents so that it could help "identify the real source of such hacking." Photo: Visual China

The Ministry of Public Security said late Saturday that it investigated and found no evidence to support allegations that China was behind two reported cyber attacks in the U.S. allegedly related to fugitive businessman Guo Wengui.

The law enforcement agency, according to a statement it provided to Caixin, also asked the U.S. government to investigate documents Guo released at a news conference on Thursday in Washington, D.C. that it says were falsified.

The ministry said reports of alleged hacking of the computer systems of Guo’s lawyer and Washington-based Hudson Institute came from a non-traditional mainstream media outlet in the U.S. The publication is known as the Washington Free Beacon. The ministry characterized the media outlet’s reports about China as often “totally irresponsible and groundless accusations.”

The ministry asked the U.S. government to give it information on the alleged incidents so that it could help “identify the real source of such hacking.”

The Hudson Institute had planned to host a public event with Guo, a high-profile and controversial critic of the Chinese government this past Tuesday. But it suddenly canceled the event.

Guo, who is asking the U.S. for political asylum, ended up instead appearing at the National Press Club near the White House on Thursday, where he made allegations against the Chinese government, including accusing it of sending numerous agents secretly into the U.S. The ministry called the documents shown by Guo “blatantly forged” and “full of obvious mistakes.”

The ministry asked the U.S. government to investigate the authenticity of the documents shown by Guo, who has been accused by Chinese authorities of numerous alleged crimes, including bribery, embezzlement and rape. Guo, at China’s request, was listed by Interpol in an arrest notice.

The ministry also said the U.S. news portal reported that the law firm that had been representing Guo for immigration was hit by a cyber attack, which led to the release of personal information about several FBI agents and their families.

But the ministry said in its statement that Guo had deliberately leaked the personal information of FBI agents onto an anonymous social media account to mislead public opinion, attract attention and undermine the relationship between the U.S. and China.

“Guo has claimed numerous times in social media that he has enjoyed (a) close relationship and frequent contacts with the FBI and in return, the FBI offers him protection. There is reason to believe that Guo has the relevant information of FBI agents, whose names and information had been revealed,” the statement said.

The ministry said there is evidence that Guo hired private investigators to conduct secret wiretapping and surveillance against U.S. politicians, businessmen as well as journalists, using methods including cyber attack.

Chinese authorities had already informed and provided evidence to the U.S. government of documents forged by Guo, the statement said, contending that Guo did so to try to help him win his political asylum case. The ministry called Guo’s documents “sensational and outrageous.”

In early September, Guo applied for political asylum in the U.S., which would give him the right to stay, Guo’s lawyer, Thomas Ragland, told Caixin last month.

Guo, the real-estate magnate behind the landmark dragon-shaped Pangu Plaza near Beijing's Olympic stadium, fled China to the U.S. in 2014, allegedly to avoid investigations into his associates, including Ma Jian, a former vice minister of state security. Ma has been removed from office for allegedly accepting a huge amount in bribes. He is still under investigation pending trial.

 

Full Statement by the Ministry of Public Security Provided to Caixin:

The law enforcement agency states that the cyber-attack related to Guo Wengui has nothing to do with China and requests the US to investigate Guo’s falsified documents.

Recently, an American website media reported that the law firm representing Guo Wengui for immigration was under cyber-attack from China, which has caused the leakage of the personal information of several FBI agents and their families. The Hudson Institute, where Guo had been publicized to give speech, was also hacked according to this report. Later on 6 of October, Guo held a closed door press conference displaying a falsified “top-secret document” from China National Security Commission, indicating that the Ministry of State Security of the PRC had secretly assigned 27 agents to the US this year.

An official of the Ministry of Public Security states that China paid close attention to such allegations and launched immediate investigation. But no evidence has been found that China and its government have been involved with these incidents. The Chinese government noticed that the relevant information came from a non-traditional mainstream media outlet in the US, where most of its reports related to China were totally irresponsible and groundless accusations. The Chinese government would like to suggest that the US law enforcement authorities to supply China of the detailed information, relevant clues and evidence, so that China could assist in the investigations to identify the real source of such hacking.

Guo has claimed numerous times in social media that he has enjoyed close relationship and frequent contacts with the FBI and in return, the FBI offers him protection. There is reason to believe that Guo has the relevant information of FBI agents, whose names and information had been revealed. Guo also claimed that FBI offered him with recording files of a Chinese official. Information from (the) internet indicates that Guo had deliberately leaked the personal information of FBI agents onto an anonymous social media account to mislead public opinion, attract public attention and to undermine the relationship between the US and China law enforcement. Besides, there are plenty of evidences that Guo hired T&M Protection Resources and other private investigation companies to conduct secret wiretapping and surveillance against US politicians, businessmen as well as journalists, using methods including cyber-attack. He has been conducting secret recordings of people in contact with him, and revealing these illegal recordings and other citizens' personal information through the Internet, which is also a serious violation of law in the United States.

Cyber-attack is now one of the most serious security threats faced by all countries. China is also a victim of cyber-attacks. China takes severe measures against attacks of cyber-crimes. The Chinese government will never engage or support such cyber-attack.

As for the “top-secret documents” displayed by Guo Wengui, an official of the MPS states that it has been utterly clumsily forged and full of obvious mistakes. A while ago, Chinese authorities had already informed and provided evidences to the US government with many documents blatantly forged by Guo, including the one he displayed on Oct.6th, in order to mislead in favor of his political asylum case. The falsified official documents and the false information he fabricated are sensational and outrageous. With the devious intention of deliberately damaging the relationship between the US and China with his continuing criminal acts. The Chinese government will officially request the kind cooperation from the US counterpart to launch an immediate investigation on the authenticity of such documents displayed by Guo and will offer its full cooperation on the investigation of the cyber-attack as well.

In recent years, them Ministry of Public Security of the PRC has cooperated with US law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the DHS and the ICE against cyber-crimes, fugitive and illegal immigrants issues, and are making positive results. On Oct.4, the First Round of US-China Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Talk was successfully held in Washington D.C. Both sides agreed to fully execute the important agreement reached by President Xi and President Trump at Mar-a-Lago meeting earlier this year to bring forth a mutually respected, equal basing on law, genuine and pragmatic partnership. Both sides further agree

to enhance the mutual dialogue to better service the security and economic interests of both nations. US government also expressed willingness to create more successful results to benefit the well-being of people of both countries through dialogues and solving individual cases.

Editor’s note: A Caixin report in 2015 revealed how Guo and Ma formed a close alliance, using national security power to meddle in business deals. In response to Guo’s subsequent attacks on Caixin, Caixin filed lawsuits against Guo and his companies, accusing him of fabricating and disseminating false information.

Contact reporter Han Wei (weihan@caixin.com)

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