Chinese Embassy in Kenya Denies Allegations of Cyber-Attacks on State Agencies
Nairobi, Kenya – The Chinese embassy in Kenya has vehemently denied recent allegations made by the Reuters news agency, claiming that Chinese hackers targeted critical state institutions in Nairobi, including the presidency, as a means to evaluate Kenya’s ability to fulfill its debt obligations to Beijing. The embassy released a statement on Wednesday dismissing the report as “far-fetched and sheer nonsense.”
According to the Reuters report, the cyber-attacks, which lasted for several years, were initiated in 2019 when China began reducing credit availability to Kenya due to mounting debt strains. These attacks allegedly aimed to gauge the East African nation’s financial stability and its capacity to repay the outstanding billions owed to Beijing.
In response, the Chinese embassy stressed that the accusations lacked substantiation and described them as baseless. It emphasized that hacking represents a common threat faced by all nations, including China, which has also fallen victim to cyber-attacks.
The embassy further underscored the sensitivity of blaming a particular government for cyber-attacks without concrete evidence, deeming it a highly politicized matter. Emphasizing the foundation of mutual respect, the Chinese embassy emphasized the strong ties between China and Kenya.
“China and Kenya are good friends, good partners, and good brothers,” stated the embassy’s spokesperson.
While reports have suggested that Kenya has scaled back borrowing from China, the latest figures indicate that as of March, the country’s outstanding debt to the Southeast Asian nation stood at $6.31 billion (£5.8 billion).
The allegations made by Reuters have sparked concerns regarding cybersecurity and the potential impact on Kenya’s relationship with China. Authorities in Nairobi have not yet responded to the embassy’s denial, leaving open the question of further investigations or potential diplomatic discussions on the matter.
The Chinese embassy’s firm denial of involvement in the alleged cyber-attacks underscores the complexity of attributing such incidents to specific actors, particularly when geopolitical and economic factors are involved. As the situation develops, it remains to be seen how Kenya and China will address these claims and safeguard their bilateral relations.
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