See more in Daily Special(s): World reacts to Edward Snowden's leak
American politicians are spreading rumors through media that Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA whistleblower, has had "cooperation with Chinese intelligence agencies." Some assumed that Beijing is contacting Snowden and speculated he is a spy for China. Similar remarks were made by Dick Cheney, former American vice-president and Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
They are trying to deflect people's attention from Snowden to "what role China will play" in the incident. This is the most realistic choice for the US government. Transforming public anger toward the US government into resentment of the Chinese government will aid Washington at this time.
Washington excels at public relations warfare via the media. Here, China is much less competitive, even though it is on just ground. If conspiracy theories about China are hyped up through the Snowden incident, China will be put under pressure.
However, global public opinion already says the US is in the wrong. Any attempt to frame China would be an overestimation of US ability to control public opinion.
Both the Hong Kong SAR government and the Chinese Central government need to fully consider China's interests while addressing this issue. The hurly-burly of American politicians should be ignored. Their voices have little impact on the Sino-US relationship.
Aside from the pressure Washington is imposing on the Hong Kong SAR government based on their extradition treaty, other aggressive voices have little impact. On the one hand, the US does not have evidence to launch new claims of a "China conspiracy." On the other hand, Snowden has drawn worldwide sympathy. Hong Kong will not lose the high moral ground if it does not extradite Snowden back to the US.
Chinese media should have more contact with Snowden, spreading more valuable information to the world. By doing so, Snowden will continue to be the centerpiece of public opinion, and denunciations by American politicians will be overlooked. The US will flinch at the sight of pro-Snowden public opinion.
The Chinese Central government has been prudent with this issue, and the US government has also refrained from publicly pushing China. Both sides have maintained proper limits, but we cannot expect more from them in dealing with this special case.
The Internet has already become a significant carrier through which the US furthers its goals, and also the platform where China and the US have increasing conflicts.
This incident should make China more aware of the importance of defending itself from the pressures of the US online. Snowden blew the whistle on shady moves by the US in the cyberspace. Having this matter unfold without interference meets the expectations of world public opinion.
Arrogance from the US will not help restore what they have lost in this incident, but make itself suffer more.