Sun, Feb 10, 2019 - Page 1 News List

China calls Lithuania’s spying claims ‘ridiculous’

AFP, VILNIUS

China on Friday denied what it termed “ridiculous” allegations of spying leveled by Lithuania as the Baltic eurozone state joined other Western nations in expressing concerns about Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co (華為).

The company has raised suspicions in the West because of its close ties with the Chinese Communist Party and generated fears that it might be a tool of Beijing’s international espionage capabilities.

“It is absurd and ridiculous for the Lithuanian intelligence and security services to rely on conjecture and imagination to make unfounded distortions,” the Chinese embassy in Vilnius said in a statement.

It said it was “shocked and surprised” by the “totally unacceptable” statements made by Lithuanian intelligence, as “China does not pose any security threat to Lithuania.”

Earlier this week, two Lithuanian intelligence agencies condemned China for an “increasingly aggressive” spy campaign, which it said included “attempts to recruit Lithuanian citizens.”

Lithuanian State Security Department Director Darius Jauniskis said his agency was analyzing the potential “threat” posed by Huawei, whose technology is being used to build the EU and NATO state’s new 5G telecommunications infrastructure.

US officials have toured EU capitals urging European governments to scrap Huawei technology from their telecom infrastructure plans.

The US considers the matter urgent as EU countries are preparing to roll out 5G networks that are to deliver near-instantaneous connectivity, vast data capacity and new technologies to Europeans.

Several other countries, under pressure from the US, have banned Huawei’s 5G equipment.

China has a limited economic presence in Lithuania, a staunch US ally of 2.8 million people, but talks are underway regarding investments in the Baltic seaport of Klaipeda, local officials said.

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