China denied spying accusations by the US Department of Justice on Thursday after an alleged Chinese intelligence officer was reportedly charged with economic espionage.
The charge by the US side was "purely fabricated," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at Thursday's routine press conference.
"We hope the US can deal with the issue fairly and legally and ensure the legitimate interests of a Chinese citizen"
On Wednesday local time, the US Department of Justice published a story on its website headlined "Chinese Intelligence Officer Charged with Economic Espionage Involving Theft of Trade Secrets from Leading US Aviation Companies."
Xu Yanjun, the alleged Chinese spy, was arrested in Belgium on April 1 and extradited to the US on Tuesday, the US article said.
China-US trade frictions are already spilling over into security and intelligence, Chinese analysts said Thursday.
Even before this case, both the FBI and CIA released very hostile statements on China, Ni Feng, deputy director of the Institute of American Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.
On September 24, CBS reported that CIA Director Gina Haspel said China was "working to diminish US influence."
"Now the US is trying to craft the image of an enemy for China, not just a trade rival, but a rival in general," Ni said.
On Wednesday FBI Director Christopher Wray warned that China "in many ways represents the broadest, most complicated, most long-term counter-intelligence threat we [the US] face," Newsweek reported.
The US should do more to boost the mutual benefits for both people and not adopt the opposite approach, Lu said at Thursday's conference.
Chinese nationals overseas "need to be aware of this new situation and they should try to keep a low profile and respect the local laws," Ni said.
In that way they could avoid providing an excuse for US intelligence agencies to make trouble, he noted.
US espionage activities are increasing as the struggle on the international intelligence arena intensifies, an expert on international security and intelligence who requested anonymity told the Global Times.
"Many US spies have recently been captured by rival countries, so this could lead to more retaliation from the US side," the expert said.
On August 15 Foreign Policy reported that the CIA had "botched the communication system it used to interact with its sources in China, according to five current and former intelligence officials."
Chinese authorities "systematically dismantled" the CIA network of agents across the country, "executing dozens of suspected US spies," the report said.
China has neither confirmed nor denied the Foreign Policy report.