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China rejects U.S. charge over Snowden

June 26, 2013 at 1:41 AM   |   Comments

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BEIJING, June 26 (UPI) -- China says it will "absolutely not accept" a U.S. charge about its aiding the departure of Edward Snowden, accused of espionage, from Hong Kong.

The Chinese response announced Tuesday by its Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying comes as Washington has reacted strongly to Snowden's departure Sunday from Hong Kong on a flight to Moscow. Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence official, has been indicted by the United States for stealing and leaking classified documents, and his passport has been revoked.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry official said the U.S. accusation over Snowden's departure from Hong Kong is groundless, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

"The accusation that the U.S. side made against the Central Government of China fell short of proof. The Chinese side will absolutely not accept it," Hua said. "The U.S. side's doubt about the lawful operation by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is totally unreasonable."

White House press secretary Jay Carney has said the U.S. request to Hong Kong on Snowden had complied with all requirements of the U.S.-Hong Kong surrender agreement and at no point in all discussions through last Friday did Hong Kong authorities raise any issues about the sufficiency of the provisional arrest request.

"In light of this, we find their decision to be particularly troubling," Carney said.

Carney said Washington is "just not buying" that it was a technical decision Hong Kong.

"This 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 U.S.-China relationship," he said.

Hua said China's stance has been clear and consistent that healthy and stable China-U.S. relations are in the interests of the two countries and their people.

"We hope the U.S. side will work with China to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the heads of state of the two countries, strengthen dialogue and cooperation, manage and control disputes and conflicts and advance bilateral relations constantly," she said.

On cybersecurity issues, Hua said China opposes any form of cyberattacks and the use of double standards.

"I believe the two sides will continue to have extensive communication and dialogue within the framework," Hua said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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