Stuart Leavenworth of McClatchy DC on how China perceives a form of ethnic bias in the United States cyber espionage accusations and the recent arrest of six Chinese men for alleged theft of code from US tech companies:

China is hitting back against U.S. indictments of six of its citizens for economic espionage, with a state-run newspaper on Thursday accusing American authorities of engaging in ethnic persecution by targeting Chinese nationals.

“The U.S. has a history of indulging in persecution of certain groups of immigrants by using the Espionage Act,” wrote Global Times, an arm of the Communist Party’s People’s Daily, in an editorial.

“We hope Chinese-Americans won’t suffer from this because of China’s rise.”

The official Chinese government response was less bellicose, but still expressed “strong concern” over the prosecutions. “The Chinese government will ensure that the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in China-U.S. personnel exchanges will not be hurt,” Hong Lei, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said at a regular press conference on Wednesday.

Interesting politics at play.