Chinese official calls reports of Gmail hacking 'a fabrication out of thin air'

Chinese officials pushed back vigorously on Thursday against accusations that hackers based there were responsible for accessing hundreds of Gmail accounts, including those of senior U.S. government officials.

According to reports, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry called Google's accusation that the attacks originated in Jinan "unacceptable."

"Hacking is an international problem and China is also a victim," the spokesman told reporters, labeling the allegations "a fabrication out of thin air." 

"The claims of so-called support for hacking are completely unfounded and have ulterior motives."

Google said late Wednesday that hundreds of Gmail users had been the victim of a phishing scheme originating in China, including senior government officials, journalists and Chinese political activists.

The search giant said Chinese hackers were behind an attack on its servers last year and has clashed with Chinese authorities over censorship of the Web. A vocational school in Jinan that trains some computer scientists for the Chinese military was implicated in last year's attack.