News Column

China 'Gravely Concerned' Over Snowden's Claims of Cyber Spying

June 24, 2013

China is "gravely concerned" about US whistleblower Edward Snowden's allegations that a US intelligence agency hacked into Chinese computers, and has raised the issue with US officials, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

"We are gravely concerned about the recently disclosed cyber attacks by relevant US government agencies against China," ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

"It shows once again that China falls victim to cyber attacks. We have made representations to the US," Hua said in a statement.

China was "opposed to all forms of cyber attacks" and wanted to "enhance dialogue and cooperation with the international community" on cyber security, she said.

Snowden said he had evidence of the US National Security Agency hacking the websites of Chinese telecommunications companies and a major university.

The former NSA contractor flew from Hong Kong to Moscow on Sunday and had applied for asylum in Ecuador, officials said.

Hua said China was "not aware of the specifics" of Snowden's stay in Hong Kong.

His case was handled by the Hong Kong government "in accordance with the law," she said.

But many analysts believe it is highly unlikely that the Hong Kong government allowed Snowden to leave the semi-autonomous territory without consulting the Chinese government.

Hong Kong enjoys broad judicial independence under the Basic Law, a mini-constitution introduced following the 1997 handover of the territory's sovereignty from Britain to China.

But judicial procedures in mainland China normally follow the direction of the ruling Communist Party's legal affairs offices.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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