updated 5/29/2006 4:50:04 PM ET 2006-05-29T20:50:04

The agency promoting China's wireless encryption standard has accused a U.S. engineers' group of waging a conspiracy that led a global organization to reject the Chinese system, the country's official news agency said Monday.

China made the accusation in its appeal against the International Standards Organization's decision in March to reject its encryption system, known as WAPI, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Wireless encryption helps protect the privacy of wireless Internet users in places like coffee shops and universities.

China has been trying to promote its own standards for mobile phones, wireless encryption and other related fields, hoping they will give Chinese companies an advantage in promising industries.

The Geneva-based International Standards Organization in March rejected China's WAPI in favor of the widely used 802.11i encryption standard, developed by the U.S.-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE.

China has asked the International Standards Organization to nullify its decision due to what it calls the engineer group's "unethical activities," such as allegedly conspiring against WAPI, insulting China, and using intimidation and threats, Xinhua reported, without elaborating.

"The serious violations are rare in ISO's standardization history," Xinhua quoted a statement by the official China Broadband Wireless IP Standard Group as saying.

It said the IEEE unfairly violated International Standards Organization rules and misled national agencies, causing them to reject the Chinese standard, Xinhua said.

ISO has said it will investigate the case, Xinhua reported.

China dropped an effort last year to make WAPI its mandatory national standard after the U.S. government complained that doing so would hamper access to China's market for foreign companies.

However, Xinhua said after the ISO rejection in March that China's government would "firmly support" the Chinese standard, and the decision would not affect its decision on domestic use.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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