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“In terms of both military and political intelligence and trade secrets, the United States is the world’s No.1 cyber thief and its spying force should be indicted,” Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, said.
Sun criticised the grand jury’s decision saying that the US is “a thief crying ‘stop thief’”.
He said Washington’s moves hurt Chinese-US relations and violate protocols of international relations.
Sun’s comments came two days after a report by the China Internet Media Research Center revealed that China has been “a main target” of US secret surveillance and charged Washington of spying on Chinese leaders, businesses, academic institutions, as well as individuals engaged in mobile phone use.
Snowden blew the whistle on Washington’s domestic and foreign surveillance programme and consequently unleashed a torrent of diplomatic tension caused by revelations that the US was spying on ally and enemy alike.
Condemnation of NSA spying from several leaders, such as French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff pushed US President Barack Obama to promise to modify the surveillance programme.
In March, Obama announced a package of reforms specifically regarding the collecting and storing of phone metadata.
Nevertheless, Sun said that it “is ridiculous for the US side to say that cyber espionage on political and military intelligence is common practice while the theft of commercial secrets is illegal”.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies