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China Daily Website

Washington tries to shift spying blame to China

Updated: 2013-12-24 01:19
By Zhou Wa in Beijing and Fu Jing in Brussels ( China Daily)

Congressman's words are a case of 'perpetrators accusing victims'

Washington wants to draw the attention away from its cyberspying scandals by turning the world's focus onto China, analysts and politicians said.

Their comments came after the Chinese mission to the European Union slammed remarks on so-called Chinese cyberespionage by a US congressman.

"Remarks of this kind are ridiculous," said Jiang Xiaoyan, a spokeswoman for the mission.

The issue of US spying has been in the spotlight since US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden said in June that the US monitored China, Germany, the United Kingdom and many other countries.

"We hope that the parties concerned take it seriously and address their own problems properly instead of attempting to divert the concerns of the international community by making unprofessional and irresponsible accusations," the spokeswoman said.

US congressman Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told members of the European Parliament in Brussels last week that if the European Union continued "the confusion and the muddling of the debate" on the US snooping on European citizens and institutions, it may help China "absolutely steal us blind when it comes to intellectual property of European and American companies".

The congressman also claimed that Chinese economic espionage has already cost the US $400 billion.

Glyn Ford, a veteran European politician who served as a member of the European Parliament for five terms, said this is a classic example of perpetrators blaming the victims.

"It's the US that has spied on the whole world on a positively industrial scale, not the other way around," he said. "In the past it has justified spying against Europe to control our industrial espionage. Washington needs to put its own house in order first."

David Fouquet, president of the European Institute for Asian Studies, said he watched the hearing in the EU parliament and cited some members as saying that the American delegation did not understand, or did not want to understand, European concerns about privacy and data protection.

Niu Xinchun, an American studies researcher at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said, "The Snowden case hits the US-Europe alliance and brings challenges to US diplomacy.

"The US and the EU used to work closely together to blame China on ‘cyberespionage', but now, Washington has become the target of criticism," Niu said.

Men Jing, a professor of international relations at the College of Europe in Belgium, said Rogers' remarks came amid rising distrust between the EU and the US.

"We were shocked by how the US spied on its allies, and we have known there is mounting distrust between them, though they are called trans-Atlantic partners and allies," Men said. "The performance of the global leader has increased the insecurity of the world."

In October, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called US President Obama over the German government's suspicions the US could have tapped her mobile phone, after a German government spokesman said that Berlin had information that the US National Security Agency could have been spying on Merkel.

Men said cybersecurity is a pressing global challenge.

"The international community needs to sit down to draft global regulations on spying and cybersecurity," Men said.

On Dec 16, a federal District Court judge in Washington ruled that the National Security Agency's gathering of data on all telephone calls made in the country appears to violate the US Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches.

Contact the writers at zhouwa@chinadaily.com.cn and fujing@chinadaily.com.cn

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