China on May 31 weighed in on the Danish and European media reports alleging that the United States spied on its European allies including German Chancellor Angela Merkel between 2012 and 2014. While US-China has often indulged in a public war of words, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Monday labelled Washington as the “world’s top empire of hacking and theft of secrets.” On Twitter, China’s government account stated, “As facts have proven time and again, the US is the world’s top empire of hacking and theft of secrets. With targets including not only competitors but also its allies, the US is a real master of large-scale, indiscriminate tapping and theft of secrets.” It also shared an article with the same news.
The US should give the world an explanation on whether what it did is consistent with its intelligence laws and the spirit of its cross-border data flow agreement with allies and whether this is “dirty network” or “clean network”.
— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) May 31, 2021
China’s remarks came after a French government official on May 31 said that if proven, the claims are “extremely serious.” Secretary of State for European Affairs in France, Clement Beaune told the country’s Info radio, “It is extremely serious, we need to see if our partners in the EU, the Danes, have committed errors or faults in their cooperation with American services.” He noted that it would be very serious if Washington actually spied on EU leaders.
“Between allies, there must be trust, a minimal cooperation, so these potential facts are serious,” said the minister while urging that the facts must first “be verified” and then “conclusions drawn in terms of cooperation.”
US Spied On Several European Allies
The United States spied on the top politicians in Europe including German Chancellor Angela Merkel from 2012 to 2014 with the assistance of Danish intelligence, as reported by Danish and European media on May 30. Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR) said that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) had listened to Danish internet cables to spy on top politicians and even senior officials in…