China condemn US over Snowden chase
Chinese state media have criticised the US for their “unacceptable” conduct in the hunt for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden who is still on the run.
The People’s Daily, known as the Chinese government’s mouthpiece, wrote: “In a sense, the United States has gone from a ‘model of human rights’ to ‘an eavesdropper on personal privacy’.”
Wang Xinjun, a researcher at the Academy of Military Science, wrote in The People’s Daily commentary: “Not only did the US authorities not given us an explanation and apology, it instead expressed dissatisfaction at the Hong Kong special administrative region for handling things in accordance with the law.”
The US previously sought extradition of Snowden from Hong Kong authorities, but were thought to have submitted the incorrect paperwork – failing to comply with local law.
Snowden had recently revealed in a series of reports – published in a Hong Kong newspaper – that the US may have been hacking the country’s mobile phone companies and one of the nation’s most renowned universities.
“The NSA does all kinds of things like hack Chinese cell phone companies to steal all of your SMS data,” Mr Snowden told the South China Morning Post, over the weekend.
The White House has expressed their disappointment at Hong Kong’s decision not to comply with US demands.
In a statement the White House said: “[It was] a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant, and that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on the US-China relationship.”
Though the US retains a firm stance, the overwhelming consensus is one of disappointment among fellow Chinese media outlets.
A bilingual editorial by Beijing’s Global Times said China must fight back against “US hegemony in cyberspace”. It added: “Instead of apologising, Washington is showing off its muscle by attempting to control the whole situation.”
“Snowden sounded the alarm, and we cannot cover our ears. We should sort out the situation and break the US’ monopoly in cyberspace, formulating regulations on an equal footing with Washington,” the piece continued.
As for Snowden’s whereabouts, it is thought he may still be in Russian territory despite rumoured plans to fly to South America.