by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos, Chief Visionary Founder & Owner
June 18, 2013 (TSR) – China’s Foreign Ministry on Monday described claims by former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney that a former U.S. intelligence contractor who is hiding in Hong Kong was an agent of China as “sheer nonsense” and “completely groundless”.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying made the comment at a daily press briefing after former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney expressed suspicion Sunday that Edward Snowden chose Hong Kong because he was an agent of China.
On Sunday former US vice president Dick Cheney told Fox News that Snowden was a “traitor” and questioned his decision to travel to Hong Kong.
“I’m suspicious because he went to China. That’s not a place where you would ordinarily want to go if you are interested in freedom, liberty and so forth,” Cheney said, adding: “It raises questions whether or not he had that kind of connection before he did this.”
Cheney suggested that Snowden could still have confidential data and that the Chinese would “probably be willing to provide immunity for him or sanctuary for him in exchange for what he presumably knows or doesn’t know”.
“This is sheer nonsense and completely groundless,” Hua said who had previously declined to comment on Snowden’s case, or his claims that the US had hacked targets in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland.
Snowden was also emphatic on his live online Q &A on Monday, and stated that he had in no way shape or form acted on behalf of Beijing, saying that he “only works with journalists.”
China has been enraged with the Pentagon’s 83-page report explicitly accusing Chinese military of hacking American government computer networks.
The computer security firm Mandiant allegedly have identified a single agency in the People’s Liberation Army, Unit 61398, as responsible for over 140 such operations since 2006.
On the contrary, China has repeatedly reiterated that China has been one of the major victims of hacker attacks and confronted with the grave threat of cyber attack.
Edward Snowden confirms China’s defense against the propaganda and exposed that it is the U.S. government that has been hacking and launching cyberattacks to Beijing.
Snowden was further dismissive of the perennial, dual-pronged approach from US officials to play the terror card in an effort to shut down discussion regarding their every increasing authority and the traitor angle to dismiss those who advocate government transparency.
“I did not reveal any US operations against legitimate military targets. I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, and private businesses because it is dangerous. These nakedly, aggressively criminal acts are wrong no matter the target,” he argued.
Slamming one of the masterminds behind the Neocon Global Hegemony agenda, that is the blueprint for all the destabilizations against sovereign nations around the world such as in Pakistan, Libya, now Syria, and War Criminal, he said, “It’s important to bear in mind I’m being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, [Democratic Senator Dianne] Feinstein, and [Republican Senator Peter]King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school.”
The 29-year-old former CIA-employee, Edward Snowden, fled to Hong Kong on May 20 after exposing two classified U.S. National Security Agency surveillance programs, one collecting U.S. Verizon phone-tapping records and the other mining Internet data, PRISM, which targets Americans foreign allies and everyone worldwide alike for years.
In Hong Kong, he provided The Guardian with top-secret documents to which he painstakingly evaluated to ensure that it was legitimately in the public interest, and reiterated that had not in fact posed a national security threat because this is about unwarranted surveillance against innocent people within USA and abroad. The disclosure has led to a series of revelations about the extent of U.S. surveillance, to which several nations, including U.S. allies, have demanded explanations.
“The United States should take the concerns and demands of the international community and the public over this issue seriously, and give a necessary explanation,” said the spokesperson said.
China’s Foreign Ministry sets up cyber security office
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up an office to deal with cyber security issues, a ministry spokeswoman announced on Friday.
The cyber affairs office is responsible for diplomatic activities regarding cyber affairs, spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing.
China will continue to maintain communication and cooperation with all sides, she said, adding that China believes that rules should be formulated under the framework of the United Nations and China has put forward specific initiatives to work with all sides for the peace and security of cyberspace.
She said China will communicate with the United States about cyber security through the cyber security work group under the China-U.S. strategic and security dialogue.
Recently, China and the US agreed to set up a cyber working group within the framework of China-US Strategic Security Dialogue.
“China is a firm advocate of cyber security. The Chinese government always takes cyber security seriously and opposes any hacker or cyber attack. We believe that cyber security is a global issue and the international community should conduct constructive dialogue and cooperation on the issue based on mutual respect and trust”, the Chinese Foreign Ministry last week said at a press briefing.
Hua said China has been one of the major victims of cyber attacks and the country opposes cyber attacks in all forms.
With US now one of the world’s top players in regards to wreaking havoc over the Internet and the rapid build-up of the Pentagon’s own Cyber Command, many around the world are very concerned and disconcerted, especially now with the massive surveillance revelations that has been ongoing since 2006.
The United States and Israel jointly developed the Flame virus and Stuxnet, which collected intelligence for a cyber-attack on Iran’s nuclear program and other nations. Flame, which the CIA, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Israeli military, all involved in developing malware to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, was designed to replicate even on highly secure networks. It allowed its creators to monitor the infected computer, activate microphones and cameras, take screenshots, log keyboard strokes, extract geolocational data from images and send and receive commands via Bluetooth wireless technology. This has been confirmed in 2010 by a number of Western officials familiar with classified data on the effort.
China believes that cyberspace needs neither fighting nor hegemony, but it does need regulations and cooperation, she said.
China hopes that “both sides could take an even-tempered, level-headed and objective approach to the issue, build up understanding and trust and enhance cooperation through dialogue and communication so as to jointly build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace”.
“Taking a double standard on cyber security does not help solve the issue,” the statement said.