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Snowden spying claims rejected

By Zhang Yunbi  (China Daily)

08:07, June 18, 2013

Foreign Ministry officials said on Monday speculation that NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden might have spied for Beijing is unsound.

"Such a notion is totally groundless," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news conference.

In its first official response to the Snowden case, the ministry also warned against politicizing the issue and blaming China.

Observers said that the issue is a reflection of US hypocrisy and that Washington should think twice about the possible impact on its ties with Beijing.

The concerns and demands of the international community and the general public surrounding this issue should be a top priority for the US, Hua said, adding that Washington should provide an explanation.

Hua's comments were in response to German and Japanese calls on the US to explain the espionage.

Da Wei, an expert on US studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said previously Washington has spared no effort in hyping Internet attacks, but it now demonstrates double standard on the issue and faces an embarrassing dilemma.

"The Chinese Foreign Ministry's comment on the case is timely enough to dispel groundless and illogical accusations on China that mean to politicize the case," Da said.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said on Saturday night that the Edward Snowden case will be handled according to local laws.

A furious debate has spread around the world over whether Snowden is a hero or a criminal.

Reuters also said that the US falls short of its own mark when it projects its standards upon others.
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