UPDATE: China Rejects US Claim Of Vaccine Theft Attempt. Calls It ‘Smearing’

Beijing accused the United States Thursday of smearing China, in reply after Washington alleged Chinese hackers were attempting to steal research on developing a vaccine against the coronavirus.

“China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to such smearing,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular press briefing, stressing Beijing has significant achievements of its own in the fight against the pandemic.