French Media Allegations of China spying on the African Union Summit have been dismissed and discredited as unfounded.
The allegations were levied last week by Le Monde, a French daily newspaper. The publication cited anonymous sources and claimed that since China funded construction of the AU building, it had planted spy devices and has been siphoning information since then (2012).
It claimed that the anonymous sources had reported unusual night activities in response to security breaches at the building. The claims allege that data was been hacked from servers at the building.
It even purported that hidden microphones had been found under desks and in walls. However all responsible officials have brushed aside the claims as void and baseless.
Speaking at a press conference as the Summit closed on Monday, AU Chairman H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat. also denounced the allegations. The Chairperson said there was no such evidence or inclination to suggest any foul play by China.
Ethiopian top government officials also denounced the claims and went on to underscore the good and growing relations that China and Africa share. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said China has no reason to spy on the AU Summit and that relations between the two are respectful and of mutual benefit.
China has also denounced the claims and described the allegations as outrageous. Chinese Ambassador to the AU Kuang Weilin termed the claims as “absurd” and said they will only serve to undermine the paper itself.
China Funded AU Headquarters, Airpot Rd and Light Railway
The China funded $200 million African Union headquarters building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was completed in 2012. The Airport Road that leads to and past the building was also built by China.
At its opening, top Chinese diplomat Jia Qinglin, described it as a symbol of good relations between the donor and recipient, Africa.
, “…the towering complex speaks volumes about our friendship to the African people, and testifies to our strong resolve to support African development,” he told AFP news.
In the same tune, the then AU chairman, Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, described the 100m high building as “a reflection of the new Africa.”
Right along runs another Chinese investment and another Ethiopian infrastructure development, the light rail.
The light rail runs on electricity and was built and is operated by Chinese companies. The 34km light rail is reportedly the very first in Africa.
Xinhua news quoted the Ethiopian Minister of Transport Workneh Gebeyehu during its launch back in 2015 saying “…the project is a historic accomplishment in Ethiopia and a landmark phenomenon to the country’s transportation sector.”