China has demanded explanation from the US after a report revealed that Australian embassies, including the one in Beijing, have been used in Washington’s spying operations.
“China is extremely concerned about this report and demands that the United States offers a clarification and explanation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, told reporters on Thursday.
“We also demand that foreign embassies in China and their staff respect the Vienna Convention … and other international treaties and not get involved in any activities which do not accord with their status or post and harm China’s security and interests,” Hua stated.
The official was referring to a report published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday, saying Australian embassies across Asia have been used to carry out the US spy operations.
The embassies were reportedly used to monitor phone calls and Internet data across Asia.
Following the report, Australia said it had not broken any laws.
Concerns over the US spying activities rose after Edward Snowden, a former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, leaked two top secret US government spying programs.
The documents exposed that the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about its espionage activities which did not even spare leaders of Washington’s allies in Europe.