UK says China targeted ‘democratic institutions’ in cyber campaign

UK says China targeted 'democratic institutions' in cyber campaign

LONDON: The United Kingdom on Monday ( Mar 25 ) accused Beijing- backed groups of targeting “democratic institutions and parliamentarians” in two cyber campaigns, unveiling sanctions and summoning China’s ambassador.

The Chinese ambassador in Britain hit again, calling the say” completely unfounded” and accusing London of “malicious defamation”.

London extensive attacks in 2021 and 2022 that targeted the Electoral Commission and UK political accounts, including those of politicians who criticize China, as Britain is scheduled to hold a general election in a few months.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden addressed members of parliament,” Chinese state-affiliated stars were responsible for two vile cyberattacks that targeted both our democratic institutions and legislators.”

He said that both activities, while a “real and severe risk”, were eventually thwarted.

Dowden said an unknown” Chinese state- associated object” good” compromised” UK Electoral Commission systems, but he insisted vote surveillance was not affected.

” It will not impact how people register, vote or otherwise participate in democratic processes”, he said.

Parliament’s cybersecurity measures blocked a second campaign against lawmakers, many of whom are critical of Beijing, he added.

The latter case has resulted in sanctions against two individuals and one business connected to the Chinese-backed group APT31, which is suspected of being the campaign’s organizer.

The Chinese ambassador to London has been summoned” to account for China’s conduct”, Dowden said.

One of the targeted lawmakers, Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith, argued that Beijing should be seen as a threat to the UK.

He was one of the many UK MPs that China sanctioned in 2021 following complaints of human rights violations against the Uyghur minority in China and Hong Kong.


China’s embassy in London slammed the accusations as” sinister action” by Britain.

China’s claim that it is to blame for the attacks “is completely unfounded and constitutes malicious slander” was stated in a statement posted online, adding that it had filed a complaint with the UK side.

The UK’s” Chinese cyber attacks” are being hyped up without any justification, and sanctions have been announced are “outright political manipulation and malicious slander.”

In recent years, Western nations have become increasingly willing to expose foreign cyber operations, and to point fingers at foreign governments – most notably China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.

China has “never encouraged, supported or condoned cyberattacks”, the embassy statement said.