Hackers allegedly linked to China were able to access thousands of sensitive European Union diplomatic cables for more than three years, according to a New York Times report.

The communications from EU missions around the world reveal the bloc’s struggles to deal with US President Donald Trump, as well as anxieties over China, Iran and Russia.

According to Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, one of the cables shows how EU officials in Moscow describe a July 2018 meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki as “successful (at least for Putin)”.

Another detailed report of a working meeting and dinner between EU officials and Chinese leader Xi Jinping quoted President Xi as saying the US was “behaving as if it was fighting in a no-rules freestyle boxing match” over its trade policy.

The hacked cables reveal further Chinese and EU frustration with President Trump.

President Xi is also quoted as saying his country “would not submit to bullying” from the US and would take countermeasures on tariffs “even if a trade war hurt everyone”.

Meanwhile, the EU is attempting to overhaul vulnerable communication channels. According to DW, more secretive information is reportedly handled differently on more secure systems.