China denies 'ridiculous' spying allegations by Lithuania
ATTENTION - CORRECTS typo in headline ///
Vilnius, Feb 8, 2019 (AFP) - China on Friday denied what it termed
"ridiculous" allegations of spying levelled by Lithuania as the Baltic
eurozone state joined other western nations in expressing concerns about
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.
The company has raised suspicions in the west for its close ties to the
Chinese government and generated fears the company may be a tool of China'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 said in a statement.
It said it was "shocked and surprised" by the "totally unacceptable"
statements made by Lithuanian intelligence, insisting that "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".
Darius Jauniskis, head of Lithuania's State Security Department, said his
agency was analysing the potential "threat" posed by Huawei, whose technology
is being used to build the EU and NATO state's new 5G telecommunications
US officials recently toured EU capitals urging European governments to
scrap Huawei technology from their telecom infrastructure plans.
The US considers the matter urgent as EU countries prepare to roll out 5G
networks that will deliver near-instantaneous connectivity, vast data capacity
and new technologies to Europeans.
Several other countries, under pressure from the United States, have banned
Huawei's 5G equipment.
China has 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, according to local officials.
Occupied and annexed by Moscow during World War II, Lithuania broke free
from the crumbling Soviet Union in 1991 and joined both the European Union and
NATO in 2004.