CHINA / National

Canada's espionage accusation against China baseless
Updated: 2006-04-21 15:08

Ottawa's accusation that China is conducting economic espionage in Canada is baseless and not conducive to bilateral relations, Chinese Ambassador Lu Shumin said here on Thursday.

"I can say responsibly that the so-called Chinese economic espionage against Canada does not exist at all...It (the accusation) is not conducive to the friendly relations and cooperation between our two countries," the ambassador told Xinhua.

Lu's remarks came after Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay alleged last week that some 1,000 Chinese are conducting economic espionage in Canada, stealing industry and technology information.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper raised the issue again on Thursday, declaring MacKay's comments as well-founded.

"It should be pointed out that it is irresponsible and unfair that the Canadian government has accused Chinese students and visiting scholars of being spies based on hearsay news instead of hard evidence," the ambassador said.

The ambassador said that China-Canada relations had developed very smoothly since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1970 and that the two countries decided to upgrade the relations to strategic partnership last year.

He pointed out that it is natural that China and Canada have different views on certain issues considering their differences in social systems, values and national conditions.

But the important thing is that the two sides should address those issues in a constructive manner and within the framework of the strategic partnership on the basis of equality and mutual respect, he added.

The new Canadian government has pledged to attach great importance to relations with China, and China highly appreciates this and is ready to work with the Canadian side to further develop bilateral relations in various fields to benefit both countries and both peoples, the ambassador said.

"I hope both sides could do more to promote the bilateral relationship instead of hindering its development," he said.