That was the key message on cybersecurity from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who spoke in an interview with the Wall Street Journal ahead of a visit to the US, where he is expected to discuss the issue with President Barack Obama.
"The Chinese government does not engage in theft of commercial secrets in any form, nor does it encourage or support Chinese companies to engage in such practices in any way," Xi said. Using computers to steal secrets or attack governments is illegal and "should be punished according to law and relevant international conventions," he said.
His claims of Chinese innocence are at odds with the view of US officials who have become increasingly frustrated over online attacks they say originate from China. US national security advisor Susan Rice has said Obama will be direct with Xi in what is expected to be an intense discussion between the two leaders on the issue. Obama and Xi might try to negotiate an online equivalent of an arms control accord, a New York Times report suggested, but US officials remain unconvinced that the deal would explicitly prohibit an attack on critical infrastructure.