BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Defense Ministry dismissed as ridiculous on Thursday a U.S. report that Chinese hackers have gained access to designs of more than two dozen major U.S. weapons systems, saying the country needed no outside help for its military development.
The Washington Post cited a U.S. Defense Science Board report as saying that the compromised U.S. designs included those for combat aircraft and ships, as well as missile defenses vital for Europe, Asia and the Gulf.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng dismissed the report, which the Pentagon and other U.S. defense officials have downplayed as outdated and overstated.
"It both underestimates the Pentagon's defensive security abilities and the Chinese people's intelligence," Geng told a monthly news briefing, according to a transcript on the ministry's website (www.mod.gov.cn).
"China absolutely has the ability to build the weapons needed for national security," he said. "Recently China's aircraft carrier, new fighter jets and transport aircraft ... have clearly shown this."
China routinely denies hacking allegations leveled at it.
President Barack Obama will discuss cyber security with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in California next week, as Washington becomes increasingly worried about Chinese hacking of U.S. military networks.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)