Wednesday, May 27, 2015   

China dodges claims on role in Snowden departure
(06-24 17:15)

China on Monday sidestepped allegations it orchestrated the departure of former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden from Hong Kong, which infuriated Washington after it had requested his arrest and extradition.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying refused to directly comment on the affair at a regular press briefing in Beijing, or provide details on any role Beijing played in Snowden's flight to Moscow on Sunday, AFP reports.
"The central government of China always respects the Hong Kong SAR government's handling of the relevant case,'' she said, referring reporters to Hong Kong's statement Sunday which said he departed through "legal and normal means''.
Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy under the handover agreement that governed its transfer from British rule in 1997, but Beijing retains control over its defence and foreign policy, and the right to veto extradition decisions.
Analysts have speculated that Beijing intervened in Snowden's case, due to its potential to create a drawn-out legal saga that would strain relations between the US and China.
US Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said Hong Kong's decision to allow the former CIA agent to leave came as a "very big surprise''.
"China clearly had a role in this, in my view. I don't think this was just Hong Kong without Chinese acquiescence, she said on CBS's "Face the Nation'' programme.
Hong Kong lawmaker Albert Ho, who acted as Snowden's lawyer in the city, said on Monday he suspected that Beijing had engineered the exit.
"The Hong Kong government has no power to decide or say anything whatsoever,'' said the respected pro-democracy figure.
Snowden is expected to head for asylum in Ecuador, in a dramatic flight after Washington charged him with espionage over his leaks on a global spying and hacking programme.
His shock departure has disappointed rights advocates in the southern Chinese city, after he initially said he would stay and fight extradition in what would have been an important test for Hong Kong's judicial independence.
   
Other China breaking news:
Zhejiang company US$12m for dumping weed killer (2 hrs 2 mins ago)
US basketballer named green envoy (2 hrs 7 mins ago)
More malicious mobile apps detected in 2014 (2 hrs 22 mins ago)
Shanghai moves to boost technological innovation (2 hrs 23 mins ago)
Former health official faces graft probe (2 hrs 34 mins ago)
Singapore Airlines plane engines shut down at 39,000 feet on way to Shanghai (05-27 13:47)
Chinese fishing vessel skipper jailed in Japan for illegal coral haul (05-27 13:42)
Bayern sell merchandise on Alibaba (05-27 13:18)
181 Xinjiang terrorist plots foiled, says state media (05-27 12:50)
22b yuan currency swap signed with Chile (05-27 11:35)

More breaking news >>

© 2015 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts

 


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.