Snowden could be useful to China: Global Times newspaper

BEIJING (AP) - A popular Communist Party-backed newspaper is urging China's leadership to get more information from former defence contractor Edward Snowden rather than send him back to the United States, because his revelations about secret US surveillance programmes concern China's national interest.

The Global Times newspaper said in an editorial on Friday that the Chinese government should not only consider Beijing's relations with the US but also domestic public opinion, which the paper said would be unhappy if Mr Snowden was sent back.

The Chinese paper known for nationalist views said Mr Snowden could offer intelligence that can help China update its understanding of cyberspace.

Mr Snowden alleged in an interview with a Hong Kong newspaper that the US National Security Agency's 61,000 hacking targets around the world include hundreds in Hong Kong and mainland China.