John Tkacik, a former State Department China specialist, said the Chinese media attacks were more likely aimed at Google, which has threatened to pull out of China over the recent cyber-attacks on Gmail accounts belonging to Chinese dissidents.
“It’s not Hillary that they are aiming at, it’s Google,” Mr. Tkacik said.
China’s government has responded to Google’s threat to pull its operations out of China by demanding that the U.S.-based high-tech company obey Chinese law.
The Pentagon recently ordered the creation of a new command for cyberwarfare that will seek to direct both offensive and defensive electronic and computer-based warfare. Pentagon officials have said U.S. offensive cyberwarfare capabilities are advanced, and that its defensive capabilities are in large measure directed to countering the cybewarfare operations of China and Russia.
A State Department official said Mrs. Clinton asked Chinese leaders to explain whether government-sponsored hackers were behind the Google attack.
The People’s Daily commentary said that in response to U.S. requests for a Chinese investigation of the Google attack, “the U.S. should first look into attack problems itself.”
“Not long ago, the largest Chinese search engine Baidu was attacked, and the domain-name registration service provider was right in the U.S. territory,” the report said.
On Iran, the report, quoting unspecified media reports, said the United States was behind the recent demonstrations in Iran against the government by passing rumors and causing trouble on social-networking media, such as Twitter.
“Behind what America calls free speech is naked political scheming. How did the unrest after the Iranian election come about?” asked a report by Wang Xiaoyang.
“It was because online warfare launched by America, via YouTube video and Twitter microblogging, spread rumors, created splits, stirred up and sowed discord between the followers of conservative reformist factions.”
Separately, a Chinese government official, Zhou Yonglin, on Monday was quoted in state-run media as repeating earlier Beijing denials that Chinese government hackers were behind recent computer attacks against Google and other U.S. high-tech companies.
Mr. Zhou, deputy chief of the operations department of China National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team, said U.S.-based hackers had remotely taken over Chinese networks.