China ‘urges’ US to explain phone taps

Updated: 2013-11-01 07:24

By CHEN JIA in San Francisco (China Daily USA)

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The Chinese government urged the United States to clarify and explain its reported espionage activities in China on Thursday.

“With serious concern about the relative reports, we lodged solemn representations to the US side,” Hua Chunying, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said at a daily press briefing in Beijing on Thursday.

She made the remark in response to a question asking for her comment on a recent report that the US has about 80 intelligence collection sites worldwide, including some cities in China.

It was reported that some intelligence officers use their diplomatic status as a cover to conduct phone tapping.

The US embassy and consulates in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu are all engaged in the reported phone tapping.

She urged foreign organizations in China and their employees to strictly abide by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and other international conventions.

They should not engage in any activities incompatible with their duties and status that may harm China's national security and interests, she said.

She also noted that healthy and steady Sino-US relations are beneficial not only to the two countries, but also to the stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the whole world.

In order to build a new type of relations between major powers, the two countries must work together and faithfully observe the mutual agreement, she said.

“The new relations will be based on the consensus of non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation in handling every aspect of Sino-US relations,” she added.

On Wednesday, journalists in Washington, DC posed similar questions to US State Department spokesman Jen Psaki, who said there was a review underway, both an internal and external review.

“That will be completed by the end of the year. As part of that effort, we’re looking at the program and we’re looking at making sure that it’s meeting our foreign policy needs,” Psaki said.

“We’re addressing reports out there related to heads of state and we’re not focused on keeping our gathering up with technology that’s available. So those are all pieces that are being looked at,” Paski added.

(Xinhua News Agency contributed to the story)