China to maintain security: FM

By Sun Xiaobo Source:Global Times Published: 2013-10-31 0:38:01

China's foreign ministry said on Wednesday that China will take necessary steps to maintain its information security following the disclosure that five Chinese cities were on the list of US intelligence collection locations.

German weekly Der Spiegel reported Tuesday that Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hong Kong and Taipei are on the list of about 80 locations where the US has set up special collection services, citing documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA).

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing on Wednesday that China has been paying "close attention" to the reports of US spying, according to report from the China Central Television Station.

"China is concerned about the continuing revelations of eavesdropping and surveillance, and is paying attention to how the situation develops," she said.

"We will take necessary steps to resolutely maintain the security of our own information," Hua added.

In 2011, the US sought cooperation from the Japanese government, which they rejected, in an attempt to track the fiber-optic cables that delivered phone and Internet data across the Asia-Pacific region, the Kyodo News reported on Saturday.

"China needs to consider rebuilding trust with the US given what the US has done to its allies and the strategic partnership between Beijing and Washington," said Wang Fan, a professor with the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University.

Meanwhile, China should endeavor to have more self-innovation in sectors of communications and network safety for the sake of its national security, Wang said.

Amid Europe's outrage over the alleged US spying on the calls and online communications of tens of millions of people on the continent, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NSA Director General Keith Alexander said that media reports of spying in Europe were "completely false."

Alexander testified to the House Intelligence Committee alongside Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Tuesday, adding that media reports were based on the misunderstanding of information from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden by European media.

Clapper said at the hearing that one of the most fundamental missions of US intelligence agencies is to learn the intentions of foreign leaders.

When asked whether it would be reasonable for countries that are not US allies, such as Russia, China or Iran, to listen to the US or its leaders, Alexander said "yes."

"In addition to the technological improvement against spying, there should be efforts in the international community to establish relevant rules to prevent surveillance from overstepping the boundary," Guo Longlong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Agencies contributed to this story

Posted in: Diplomacy

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