China rejects spy claims against Snowden

Updated: 2013-06-17 23:33


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BEIJING - A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman on Monday described as "sheer nonsense" claims that a former US intelligence contractor who is hiding in Hong Kong was an agent of China.

Hua Chunying made the comment at a daily press briefing after former US vice president Dick Cheney expressed suspicion Sunday that Edward Snowden chose Hong Kong because he was an agent of China.

"This is sheer nonsense," Hua said.

The 29-year-old former CIA-employee fled Hong Kong on May 20 after exposing two classified US National Security Agency surveillance programs, one collecting US phone records and the other mining Internet data.

In Hong Kong, he provided The Guardian with top-secret documents that has led to a series of revelations about the extent of US surveillance, to which several nations, including US allies, have demanded explanations.

"The United States should take the concerns and demands of the international community and the public over this issue seriously, and give a necessary explanation," said the spokeswoman.