China denies US Capitol hacking

China denied accusations by two US lawmakers that it hacked into congressional computers, saying that as a developing country it wasn't capable of sophisticated cybercrime.

An Associated Press report also quoted China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang as saying that 'Is there any evidence‾ "&brkbar; Do we have such advanced technology‾ Even I don't believe it.'

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., and New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, a senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that their office computers were hacked into by people working from China, the Associated Press report said.

Both lawmakers, longtime critics of China's human rights record, said the compromised computers had information regarding political dissidents.

Wolf said four of his computers were compromised beginning in 2006. Smith said two of the computers at his global human rights subcommittee were attacked in December 2006 and March 2007.

China has a thriving information technology industry and claims to have 221 million internet users, equal to the US as the most in the world.

Qin repeated previous denials that the government sponsors computer attacks overseas and said China also was a victim of cybercrime.

The lawmakers' allegations came as US officials were investigating whether Chinese officials had secretly copied the contents of a government laptop during a visit to China last December by US Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez and used the information to try to hack into Commerce Department computers.