A senior official of the African Union (AU) on Friday rejected media reports that China has been spying on its headquarters and transferring data from servers in the building.
Victor Harison, the AU commissioner for economic affairs, said he had respect for the response of the chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, who refuted a report the French newspaper Le Monde.
The French paper had earlier claimed that China had bugged the AU conference centre it had built and gifted to the AU in 2012.
Harison said, “I think the chairperson of the African Union has responded in this issue. I respect the response of my hierarchy chairperson.’’
Mahamat told the press in China that they were totally false allegations, reiterating that ties between China and the AU are unwavering, and such reports could not damage their relations.
According to a recent report by Reuters, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios has criticised countries that open their arms to Chinese 5G networks and artificial intelligence technologies.
Citing the Le Monde report in 2018 that Beijing had transferred data from the AU headquarters to China for five years using Huawei IT equipment.
Reuters also recalled that the AU had previously rejected claims that Huawei was involved in any cyber security breach.
Harison said that the AU and China are enjoying fruitful cooperation, with the AU office complex and conference centre a tangible example in this regard.
“This building is the fruit of collaboration between AU and China,’’ he said.
Refuting the rumour, Liu Yuxi, head of the Chinese Mission to the AU, told reporters on his part that the relationship between China and the AU is based on mutual respect and benefits.