Foreign Ministry refutes information theft accusations

Updated 2018-02-02 09:12:01 China Daily

Beijing dismissed on Thursday spy allegations leveled by Washington and Canberra, after United States and Australian officials said China undermines their security.

In an interview with the BBC released on Tuesday, Mike Pompeo, director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, accused China of "very focused efforts to steal American information" and trying to "covertly influencing the world".

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she wasn't surprised by such comments.

"There is a Chinese saying which goes 'the look comes from the mind', meaning that what the world looks like in your eyes depends on what you think. In this sense, it's not strange that the world's biggest intelligence chief said such things.

"Facts speak louder than words. According to various information revealed in recent years, everyone is very clear about exactly who is carrying out large-scale tapping, monitoring, stealing of secrets and infiltration in other countries, and going to any length to maintain and exert their influence," Hua said.

Responding to reports that China is listed by the Australian intelligence agency as an "extreme" threat, the spokeswoman said: "If some individuals in Australia view as spies all the millions of people shuttling between China and Australia every year as well as Chinese living in Australia, they are surely to feel nervous."

Almost 2 million trips were made between China and Australia in 2016. According to the Foreign Ministry, 1.2 million Chinese tourists visited Australia that year.

Australia voiced similar comments before. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull accused China of exerting foreign interference late last year, followed by China's expression of strong dissatisfaction.

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said the "irresponsible" allegations show that the US and Australia are lagging behind the times by clinging to a Cold War mentality.

"They tend to be suspicious about whatever China does," Ruan said.

They are probably treating China as a scapegoat to distract people from their domestic problems, the researcher said.

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