Spy scandal 'will weaken' US global credibility

Spy scandal 'will weaken' US global credibility
Among the leaders monitored through the National Security Agency phone tapping included German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

CHINA - Anger over Washington's extensive eavesdropping on world leaders and ordinary citizens has shown no signs of abating, as observers say using anti-terrorism as an excuse for pervasive surveillance is "hypocritical and abused".

Chinese experts said the disclosure shows the United States is making the most of its intelligence capabilities to secure its supremacy in the world, and the scandal will weaken its global credibility.

Observers also said the scandal may prompt new international rules to rein in transnational spying as 21 countries have reportedly asked for a UN draft resolution against the US surveillance.

The latest reports reveal the US was responsible for broad surveillance of the communications of as many as 35 world leaders and likely millions of foreign nationals.

The leaders monitored through the National Security Agency phone tapping included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was reported to have been spied on by the US since 2002.

The NSA was also accused of accessing tens of thousands of French phone records as well as tracking 60.5 million telephone calls in Spain in a single month.

Qu Xing, president of the China Institute of International Studies, said Washington has been highly concerned by European integration, as Europe would surpass the US to become a new power centre if the EU worked as successfully as expected.

But Qu said US-EU relations will forge ahead in the long term despite the recent setback.

"The US and Europe are like a pair of business partners. Both benefit from a cooperative relationship and neither can put up with the consequences of a breakup," Qu said.

Shi Yinhong, a senior expert on US studies at Renmin University of China, said, "Perceiving itself as a superpower, the US holds the arrogant attitude that it is not a big deal to steal other countries' information".

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