News Chinese Analysts hit back at Indian Army over allegations of Chinese hacking

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SOURCE: Global Time

Indian Army allegations that Chinese hackers are targeting Indian users to extract personal data puts a stain on Sino-Indian relations, Chinese analysts said on Wednesday.

“The negative propaganda against China recently released by the Indian Army on social media violates the will of both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who are seeking to bring Sino-Indian relations into a stable phase,” Hu Shisheng, director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceania Studies in Beijing, told the Global Times.

“Stay cautious, stay alert, stay safe! The Chinese are penetrating the digital world,” tweeted the Additional Directorate General of Public Interface (ADGPI) of the Indian Army in Hindi on Sunday, according to Indian newspaper The Economic Times.

The one-minute video in English posted by the ADGPI alleged that WhatsApp is the new way for Chinese to hack into Indian users’ systems. The Army also asked users to be vigilant about phone numbers beginning with +86, the country code for China, when using WhatsApp, the report said.

It is no surprise that some Indian media, nationalists and right-wing forces are seeking to strengthen suspicions and try to smear China when the leaders of both countries are trying to normalize bilateral ties, Hu said.

Zhao Gancheng, director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, also told the Global Times on Wednesday that “rebuilding mutual trust with India still needs time.”

On major geopolitical issues, India often pursues a policy of confrontation but encourages cooperation when there is no conflict involved, Zhao said, adding that some key agendas, such as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and Indo-Pacific Strategy are decisive in shaping bilateral ties.

The allegation of Chinese hacking of Indian users’ personal data could also be a way for the Indian Army to boost their budget, Hu added.