BEIJING, December 26. /TASS/. The US government has failed to provide explanations to the world community about the case of former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden and his revelations about Washington’s global surveillance, Chinese Defense Ministry Spokesman Wu Qian told reporters on Thursday.
"As for the cyber security issue, the United States has tarnished its own image. The US still owes explanations to the global community about Snowden’s case and his revelations of extensive hacking of confidential data and cyber attacks against other states. At the same time, the US keeps pointing its finger at other countries that don’t fit the bill," the spokesman clarified.
According to Wu Qian, the US defense budget in 2020 will be $738 bln or more than 40% of global expenditures on this sector. Against this background, statements by American officials on the military threat posed by China are groundless, he noted.
"Over the past years, the US has waged wars around the whole world, violating the sovereignty of other countries, leaving them in ashes as they tore through these places. In addition, a huge number of innocent people have been killed and injured, with many of them losing their homes and turning into refugees," the spokesman pointed out.
"The Chinese have a saying that goes: ‘A thief cries, stop thief.’ American officials baselessly criticize China, but in my view, their every word and expression describe the US," he specified.
In 2013, Snowden leaked information on the methods of electronic surveillance that US intelligence services had used, including the illegal wiretapping of foreign leaders’ conversations. Fleeing from imminent prosecution, Snowden sent requests for asylum to some countries, including Russia. On August 1, 2014, he received a Russian residence permit valid for three years, which was later extended for another three years.
In the United States, Snowden has been charged with two counts of violating the Espionage Act. He may face up to 10 years behind bars on each count. The American authorities have repeatedly stated that they considered Snowden a ‘traitor’ and were not going to pardon him since he had caused ‘grave’ damage to ‘national security’ interests.