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Fri, 09 Feb 2018 15:51 - Updated Fri, 09 Feb 2018 15:51

Congolese president dismisses "ridiculous" China spying report

BRAZZAVILLE - President of the Republic of the Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso called the media fanfare about China spying on the African Union (AU) "ridiculous" in a Thursday interview with Xinhua.

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Sassou Nguesso's comments joined the barrage of criticism by African leaders against the report by the French newspaper Le Monde, which alleged that China had bugged the building it had built and gifted to the AU in 2012.

The new AU building has been deemed a symbol of Sino-African cooperation, and Sassou Nguesso said: "This gesture from China (gifting of the building) has been hailed by all and we continue to salute it."

The president stressed that "the media that shared this ridiculous news should first of all know that when we debate at the African Union, we have no problem to hide."

"If there are diplomatic negotiations or secret negotiations, it does not happen during debates at the AU," he said.

The French newspaper carried "revelations" that microphones were found in the walls and pointed to a spectacular data leak in the building, citing anonymous sources within the pan-African organization.

"According to some information we received, equipments came from different countries, not even from China, you can see how these news are fake and ridiculous," said Sassou Nguesso.

Speaking of the Africa-China cooperation, Sassou Nguesso said the 2015 summit in Johannesburg has given a global perspective of cooperation between China and Africa. "We see that the strategic cooperation between China and Africa has taken a significant step forward."

The Le Monde report has become a subject of criticism from several AU officials including the AU Chairman Paul Kagame and the chair of the AU Commission Moussa Faki.

Faki said Thursday that it was impossible and unnecessary for China to spy on the AU.

Faki said the ties between China and AU were "unshakable," and such reports could not damage their relations.

Earlier this week, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza said the report, which was compiled ahead of the 30th AU summit, was fabricated by some Western media to drive a wedge between African countries and China. Xinhua

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