China on July 20 said the US had “fabricated” allegations it carried out a massive Microsoft hack, countering that Washington was the “world champion” of cyberattacks while chiding US allies for signing up to a rare joint statement of condemnation.

The US on July 19 accused Beijing of carrying out the March cyberattack on Microsoft Exchange, a top email server for corporations around the world, and charged four Chinese nationals over the “malicious” hack.

President Joe Biden told reporters that the US was still completing an investigation before taking any countermeasures. “The Chinese government, not unlike the Russian government, is not doing this themselves, but are protecting those who are doing it, and maybe even accommodating them being able to do it,” he said.

The US coordinated its statement on July 19 with allies – the EU, Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and NATO.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing: “The US has mustered its allies to carry out unreasonable criticisms against China on the issue of cybersecurity … This move is fabricated out of nothing.”

The Chinese embassy in New Zealand called the allegations “totally groundless and irresponsible” while the embassy in Australia accused Canberra of “parroting the rhetoric of the US”.

“It is well known that the US has engaged in unscrupulous, massive and indiscriminate eavesdropping on many countries including its allies,” the embassy said.