Suspicions Snowden spied for China 'groundless': Beijing

BEIJING (AFP) ) China's foreign ministry on Monday dismissed as "groundless" suspicions that former US contractor Edward Snowden spied for Beijing.

"I think it is completely groundless," said foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying when asked at a regular news briefing if Mr Snowden spied for China.

They were the first concrete comments from Beijing on Mr Snowden. Last week, Ms Hua said that she had “no information to offer” on the 29-year-old.

Former US vice president Dick Cheney said Sunday on US television that he was “deeply suspicious” about Mr Snowden given that he had gone to China.

Mr Snowden is currently in Hong Kong, a former British colony that is now a special administrative region of China and that maintains a high level of autonomy, including its own legal system.

"That’s not a place where you ordinarily want to go if you’re interested in freedom, and liberty and so forth,” Mr Cheney said in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday”.

“So, it raises questions whether or not he had that kind of connection before he did this.”

Ms Hua also called on Washington to explain its surveillance programme to the global community.

“We believe that the US side should pay attention to the concerns and demands of the international community and the public over this issue and give the international community a necessary explanation,” she said.