On Wednesday, addressing a joint press conference in London, FBI Director Christopher Wray and MI5 Director Ken McCallum accused China of exerting covert pressures worldwide and of being a threat to U.S. and U.K. national security.
The Chinese embassy in London called such accusations totally baseless. Urging an end to the spread of lies and irresponsible remarks, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman for his part said the allegations by U.S. and British officials seek to discredit and attack China.
On the U.S., Zhao said that "facts have fully proven that the U.S. is the biggest threat to world peace, stability and development." He further said the U.K. is "trying to project its own disgraceful acts onto China through these false, sensational reports," noting that MI5 and MI6, the country's two main intelligence agencies, are "experts on planting spies."
In response, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a regular news conference the US "is the biggest threat to world peace and development", while the British "published alarmist reports out of nothing" with the purpose of "playing up the 'China threat' theory".
China has been blamed for countless cyberattacks and incidents of intellectual property theft. In this context, the U.S. has blacklisted Chinese technology companies for allegedly being used to collect Western user data.
A meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be held this week during a G20 foreign ministers' gathering in Bali, Indonesia.
U.S. officials have said Blinken is likely to seek China to scale back its increasing partnership with Russia amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. China has so far declined to condemn Russia over the Ukraine conflict, refraining from joining those sanctioning Moscow.