Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Energy News .




TRADE WARS
China outsmarted US in Snowden chess game: experts
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) June 24, 2013


China interceded to allow Edward Snowden's dramatic flight from Hong Kong, calculating that infuriating the United States for now was necessary to prevent longer-term corrosion to their relationship, analysts and media said Monday.

On a visit to New Delhi, US Secretary of State John Kerry said it was "deeply troubling" if requests for the former spy's extradition had been ignored -- and warned of consequences for Sino-US relations.

Despite its fury, Washington has been on the defensive for weeks as Snowden stepped up a drip-feed of leaks from his Hong Kong bolthole, including allegations of extensive US snooping on targets in the city and mainland China.

Beijing formally protested after the latest revelations came out at the weekend -- just as Snowden was deserting Hong Kong. State media called Washington a "villain" for its alleged hacking, flagging up the irony that the United States has long portrayed itself as a victim of Chinese cyber-espionage.

The Hong Kong government insisted that its decision to let the 30-year-old Snowden fly out on Sunday was governed strictly by the law, after a provisional US arrest warrant purportedly failed to meet its judicial requirements.

Breaking his long silence on the affair, Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying on Monday said "the people of Hong Kong expect Hong Kong to uphold its own laws".

In Beijing, the foreign ministry said the central government "always respects" Hong Kong's relative autonomy but sidestepped the allegations that it orchestrated Snowden's departure.

The White House said it was "just not buying" explanations that the decision was simply a determination handed down by local Hong Kong authorities.

"This was a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant, and that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on the US-China relationship," spokesman Jay Carney said.

For many observers, such a high-profile case -- carrying the potential to destabilise Sino-US ties for years if Snowden had fought a lengthy legal battle in Hong Kong -- must have provoked intense interest among the territory's overseers.

Hong Kong political analyst Johnny Lau said he believed that Chinese representatives "must have drained him in depth and exhausted him (for intelligence) before letting him go".

Lau argued that Hong Kong's government was a pawn, with Beijing guiding the pieces.

"Hong Kong is just part of a chess game. It was the same when it was part of Britain," he told AFP.

Albert Ho, one of Hong Kong's most respected pro-democracy lawmakers, revealed that he had been hired as Snowden's lawyer and that he had relayed a message from a mystery intermediary several days ago.

The intermediary did not specify whether he represented the government in Beijing or Hong Kong, but Ho said: "I have reasons to believe that... those who wanted him to leave represented Beijing authorities.

"Bejing would not step forward to the front stage because it (would) affect Sino-US relations," he told reporters.

"So, it would operate behind the scenes to make Snowden go. The Hong Kong government may not have had any role other than not stopping him at the airport."

After arriving in Hong Kong on May 20, armed with laptops containing a wealth of information on National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdropping of private Internet users and cellphones around the world, Snowden explained his choice of destination in a newspaper interview.

"My intention is to ask the courts and the people of Hong Kong to decide my fate. I have been given no reason to doubt your system," he told the South China Morning Post.

But something changed over the weekend, after the United States issued its arrest warrant with a view to instituting formal extradition proceedings.

The former NSA contractor and CIA agent fetched up in Moscow where he was last believed to be in a transit area of the airport, and has asked Ecuador to grant him asylum.

Aghast lawmakers in Washington expressed strong suspicion of Chinese as well as Russian meddling.

"I had actually thought that China would see this as an opportunity to improve relations and extradite him to the United States," Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said on CBS television.

"China clearly had a role in this, in my view."

Whatever the answer, newspapers in China and Hong Kong said Beijing had no interest in allowing Snowden's fate to fester as the new government of President Xi Jinping looks to reboot its overarching relationship with the United States after a troubled period.

The South China Morning Post declared in an editorial: "There could be no better outcome for our city and China."

Shen Dingli, an international relations professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, agreed that Beijing probably took the final decision on the Snowden case.

"For such a vital national security interest, how can Hong Kong decide by itself? If we want to have good US-China relations, it benefits China" to have let Snowden leave, he said.

burs/jit/jms

.


Related Links
Global Trade News






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TRADE WARS
Melting ice pulls Norway closer to Asia
Kirkenes, Norway (AFP) June 23, 2013
The town of Kirkenes in northernmost Norway used to be further away from Asia than virtually any other European port, but it suddenly seems a lot closer. The reason: Global warming. Melting ice has opened up the Northern Sea Route along Russia's Arctic coastline, changing international trade patterns in profound ways - even if so far it looks more like a sleepy county road than a busy, fou ... read more


TRADE WARS
John Kerry promotes clean energy in India

EU Parliament committee passes revised emissions trading scheme fix

World cities improving energy efficiency: report

China launches first carbon trading scheme

TRADE WARS
Fracking raises risk of contaminated drinking water: study

Iraq oil exports dip on weather, sabotage

Oil prices ease on US, China concerns

Stray gases found in water wells near shale gas sites

TRADE WARS
Spanish downturn a disaster for green energy

New certified small wind turbine announced for US market

Mongolia confronts smog with launch of first wind farm

New certified small wind turbine announced for US market

TRADE WARS
Future looks bright for carbon nanotube solar cells

Uncovering quantum secret in photosynthesis

EU trade chief sees speedy end to China solar row

Qatar comes to rescue of Germany's Solarworld

TRADE WARS
New radioactive water leak at Fukushima: TEPCO

US state in new alert over nuclear waste leak

Romania to sell stake in nuclear plant operator

Poland may delay launch of nuclear plants: PM

TRADE WARS
Novel Enzyme from Tiny Gribble Could Prove a Boon for Biofuels Research

A cheaper drive to 'cool' fuels

When green algae run out of air

An environmentally friendly battery made from wood

TRADE WARS
Chinese astronauts manually dock spacecraft

China astronaut teaches lesson from space

China's space program less costly

China seeks to boost share of satellite market

TRADE WARS
Climate change altering insurers' risk assessment: think tank

Cities, farms reroute animals seeking cooler climes

Surprise species at risk from climate change

Obama to propose 'national plan' on climate change




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement