Commentary: Snowden case should not affect China-U.S. relationship
                 English.news.cn | 2013-06-25 13:30:51 | Editor: Yang Yi

by Ming Jinwei

BEIJING, June 25 (Xinhua) -- The whereabouts of former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden remains a global mystery on Tuesday after he was reported to have left the Chinese territory of Hong Kong for the Russian capital of Moscow.

The U.S. government, which has tried to extradite Snowden on criminal charges, expressed displeasure on Monday over the fact that the former U.S. government spy had managed to leave Hong Kong.

A White House spokesman even hinted that the Snowden case might have a negative impact on the bigger China-U.S. relationship.

For many people in China, this assertion goes a little bit too far.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government did have a legitimate case when it said that the U.S. government's request for the HKSAR government to issue a provisional arrest warrant for Snowden did not fully comply with the city's legal requirements.

For the China-U.S. relations, both Beijing and Washington fully know that an isolated case should not be allowed to hurt one of the most critical relationships in the world.

As many can see, the China-U.S. relationship has made valuable progress after the latest leadership transitions in the two countries. The first summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama, held earlier this month in California, has further boosted mutual trust and understanding between the world's two largest economies.

It is in the interest of both countries to keep the positive momentum in bilateral relations.

Back to the issue of cyber security, the Snowden case might not be a completely bad thing after all.

Beijing and Washington can actually use the case to facilitate ongoing efforts to deal with the issue. The two sides can sit down and talk through their mutual suspicions.

It is a good thing to know that both China and the United States now appreciate the importance and the special nature of the relationship, and have been working hard to break the zero-sum mentality and to jointly build a new type of relations that feature mutual trust and win-win cooperation.

For the past three decades, the China-U.S. relationship has seen many ups and downs. Yet the two countries, as shown in past experiences, have the political wisdom and proper mechanisms to deal with many challenges and manage their differences.

This is also true in the handling of the Snowden case if the two sides could again demonstrate that they are able to build a relationship strong enough to withstand any kind of disturbance.

Related:

Feature: An unexpected car race to trace Snowden

MOSCOW, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Two and a half hours before the scheduled take-off of a flight on which U.S. intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden was expected to travel, a car of the Ecuadorian embassy in Russia appeared Monday en route to Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport.

It was the same car that Xinhua correspondents saw a day earlier at the airport, when Snowden reportedly arrived from Hong Kong. Full story

White House expecting Russia to expel Snowden back to U.S.

WASHINGTON, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The White House said on Monday that it was expecting Russia to look at the options available to expel fugitive U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden back to the country.

"It is our assumption that he is in Russia," spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a regular press briefing. Full story

Snowden "healthy and safe", whereabouts undisclosed

MOSCOW, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Minutes after the jet bridge of a Moscow-Havana flight disembarked on Monday, journalists dashing to seat 17A got disappointed as Edward Snowden, the U.S. intelligence whistleblower, was not there.

Snowden, charged by the U.S. government with three felonies, including two under the Espionage Act, reportedly arrived in Moscow's Sheremetyevo international airport on Sunday and was expected to take Aeroflot flight SU150 to Havana, Cuba on Monday.  Full story

Asylum request from Snowden under reviewing, Ecuadorian FM

HANOI, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The Ecuadorian government has told Russia that it is reviewing the asylum request from Edward Snowden, the former U.S. intelligence contractor, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino Aroca said at a press conference held in Vietnamese capital Hanoi on Monday.

The Ecuadorian foreign minister, who is paying a two-day visit to Vietnam, confirmed here earlier Monday morning that the Ecuadorian government had received the request for asylum from Snowden and was to analyze that "with a lot of responsibility".  Full story

Flight reportedly carrying Snowden lands in Moscow

MOSCOW, June 23 (Xinhua) -- An Aeroflot flight reportedly carrying a former National Security Agency contractor sought by theUnited Statesfor revealing classified surveillance programs landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday.

Flight SU213 from Hong Kong landed at Terminal F at 17:05 Moscow time (1305 GMT), but the airport could not verify reports that Edward Snowden was on the plane, airport press officer Roman Genis told Xinhua.  Full story

Commentary: Washington owes world explanations over troubling spying accusations

BEIJING, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Edward Snowden, a U.S. intelligence contractor who divulged some of the most secretive spying activities of the U.S. government, has put Washington in a really awkward situation.

In the past few months, U.S. politicians and media outlets have thrown out Internet spying accusations one after another against China, trying to make it as one of the biggest perpetrators of Internet spying activities.Full story

Snowden charged with espionage for disclosure of secret programs: Post

WASHINGTON, June 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden and charged him with espionage, The Washington Post reported on Friday on its website.

Snowden, a former defense contractor and leaker of classified surveillance programs of the National Security Agency (NSA), was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property, the newspaper quoted U.S. officials as saying.Full story

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