China censures US ‘double standards’ in fighting terrorism
China has rejected US criticism of a recently-drafted Chinese anti-terrorism law and accused Washington of applying double standards in fighting terrorism.
“We hope the United States will stop groundless accusations and respect China’s law-making processes,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a Wednesday press conference in the capital, Beijing.
Hong made the remark in reaction to a recent statement by the US State Department on a new Chinese draft law on terrorism.
The draft law, due to be ratified before the end of the year, has prompted criticism from Western capitals.
Critics say the law would require technology firms to install “back doors” in products or to hand over sensitive information such as encryption keys to the Chinese government.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Beijing is faced with a serious threat from terrorism as terrorist groups are using the Internet for their activities.
“The draft of our anti-terrorism law mandates the obligation of telecommunications operators, Internet servers and service providers to assist public and state security organs in stopping and probing terrorist activities,” Hong said.
“This is both totally rational and necessary. This rule won’t limit the lawful operations of companies, does not provide a ‘back door’ and will affect neither the firms’ intellectual property nor internet users’ freedom of speech,” he said.
Washington says the law will exert unjust regulatory pressure on foreign internet firms.
On Tuesday, US State Department spokeswoman Gabrielle Price said the draft “would lead to greater restrictions on the exercise of freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and religion within China.”
The US National Security Agency, itself, cites terrorism as a reason for conducting a massive espionage program, including collecting phone records of American citizens.