Telling companies to spy is ‘not how China behaves’: Premier

BEIJING (AP) — China’s number two leader yesterday denied Beijing tells its companies to spy abroad, refuting United States warnings that Chinese technology suppliers might be a security risk.

Premier Li Keqiang’s comment at a news conference was the government’s highest-level rejection of accusations Chinese companies might spy on foreign customers.

Asked whether Beijing told Chinese companies to spy, Li said, “Let me tell you explicitly that this is not consistent with Chinese law. This is not how China behaves. We did not do that and will not do that in the future.”

The United States and some other governments have imposed curbs on use of technology from Chinese vendors including Huawei Technologies Ltd as possible security risks.

Huawei, the biggest global maker of network gear for phone and internet companies, has denied accusations it facilitates Chinese spying.

Huawei’s founder told reporters this year he would reject government requests to disclose confidential information about foreign customers.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) speaks during a press conference held after the closing session of China’s National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. – AP