China pressures Australia over spy row

BEIJING (AFP) - China demanded explanations from Australia on Friday over reports that Canberra's missions were involved in a vast US-led surveillance network, as the row souring US-Europe relations spread in Asia.

US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted US spying had sometimes gone too far as a dispute erupted in the region following a story in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The newspaper reported a top-secret map leaked by fugitive intelligence analyst Edward Snowden showed 90 US surveillance facilities at diplomatic missions worldwide, amplifying an earlier story by German magazine Der Spiegel.

The centres in China included the US embassy in Beijing and US consulates in the commercial hub Shanghai and Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, the SMH said.

The SMH reports focused on secret US intelligence facilities in Asia and also said Australian diplomatic posts were being used to monitor phone calls and collect data as part of the American surveillance network.

"We require the Australian side to make a clarification," Ms Hua Chunying, spokesman of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters at a regular briefing.

"We also urge the diplomatic missions and personnel in China to strictly abide by international treaties including the Vienna Convention," she said.

Her comments came a day after she said China required the United States to "make a clarification and give an explanation", adding foreign diplomatic missions and personnel must not engage in any activity that may "jeopardise China's security and interests".