China state media calls for ‘severe punishment’ for Google, Apple, U.S. tech firms

admin   •   June 4, 2014   •   2592

A person poses with a magnifying glass in front of a Google search page in this illustrative photograph taken in Shanghai March 23, 2010.
CREDIT: REUTERS/STRINGER

(Reuters) – Chinese state media lashed out at Google Inc, Apple Inc and other U.S. technology companies on Wednesday, calling on Beijing “to punish severely the pawns” of the U.S. government for monitoring China and stealing secrets.

U.S. companies such as Yahoo Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc threaten the cyber-security of China and its Internet users, said the People’s Daily on its microblog, in comments echoed on the front page of the English-language China Daily.

It is not clear what sparked this latest round of vitriol, nor what information the U.S. firms are alleged to have stolen. But Chinese media have repeatedly attacked American tech companies for aiding the U.S. government’s cyber espionage since U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden revealed widespread spying programs including PRISM.

Under PRISM, the NSA seized data from companies such as Google and Apple, according to revelations made by Snowden a year ago.

Chinese state-owned firms have since begun dispensing with the services of U.S. companies such as IBM Corp, Oracle Corp and Cisco in flavor of domestic technology. As a result, Snowden’s revelations may cost U.S. companies billions of dollars, analysts say.

“U.S. companies including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. are all coordinating with the PRISM program to monitor China,” the People’s Daily said on its official microblog.

“To resist the naked Internet hegemony, we will draw up international regulations, and strengthen technology safeguards, but we will also severely punish the pawns of the villain. The priority is strengthening penalties and punishments, and for anyone who steals our information, even though they are far away, we shall punish them!” it said.

Google has already had problems in China this week. On Monday, a China censorship watchdog said Google services were being disrupted ahead of Wednesday’s 25th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

“We cannot say this more clearly – the (U.S.) government does not have access to Google servers – not directly, or via a back door, or a so-called drop box,” said Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond in an emailed statement on Wednesday. “We provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law.”

Microsoft declined to provide immediate comment. Facebook, Yahoo, Apple and Cisco were not immediately available when Reuters sought comment by telephone and email.

Facebook is currently blocked by Chinese censors, but said last month it may open a sales office in China to provide more support to local advertisers who use the website to reach customers overseas.

ROCKY TIME

In December, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo and other Internet companies issued an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama and Congress to reform and introduce restrictions on surveillance activities.

Even so, U.S. tech companies have had a rocky time in China since the NSA revelations. Just last month, central government offices were banned from installing Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest operating system, on new computers.

But the U.S. has responded with its own measures. In May, the U.S. Department of Justice charged five Chinese military officers with hacking U.S. companies to steal trade secrets.

The indictment sparked outrage in China and added urgency to Beijing’s efforts to promote the development of local information technology (IT) companies.

Chinese media called the United States “a high-level hooligan” and officials accused Washington of applying “double standards” on issues of cyber spying.

After the charges were announced, China said it will investigate providers of important IT products and services to protect “national security” and “economic and social development.”

(Reporting by Paul Carsten and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

DFA finalizes repatriation for 11 stranded Filipino seafarers onboard Ocean Star 86

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 25, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is finalizing the repatriation of the remaining 11 Filipino seafarers stranded in Chinese waters onboard Ocean Star 86 since March 24.

The DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) are already coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in China. OWWA said the seafarers will be able to return home by next week.

“Mayroon na po napipintong repatriation either this coming week or first week of October ng ating mga mahal na stranded seafarers sa China (Our stranded seafarers in China will be repatriated either this coming week or first week of October). We are now providing assistance to the seafarers,” according to OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.

Based on the information received by OWWA, the Ocean Star 86 is docked in the mainland and the Philippine Embassy in China has been providing assistance to the seafarers. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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Fresh PHL protest vs China won’t affect diplomatic ties – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The fresh diplomatic protest filed by the Philippines against China over its coast guard’s “illegal confiscation” of fish aggregating devices installed by Filipino fishermen in Bajo de Masinloc will not affect the friendship between the two countries, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said lodging of protests over acts deemed violative of the country’s sovereign rights is part of the job of Philippine diplomats.

“‘Yang mga protests naman ginagawa talaga yan ng ating mga diplomats kung meron sa tingin natin na lalalabag sa ating soberenya o doon sa ating tinatawag natin sovereign rights,” he said.

“Pero hindi naman po makakaapekto doon sa kabuuan ng ating matalik na pagsasamahan sa panig ng bansa natin at ng bansang Tsina,” he added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said it has lodged a diplomatic protest against China over the incident that took place in May.

Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal is a vital spawning ground for fish that lies over 100 nautical miles from the coast of Masinloc, Zambales.

It is among the areas in the South China Sea being claimed by China, including waters within the exclusive economic zones of Malaysia, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hage rules that under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, the Bajo de Masinloc is a common fishing ground and that China’s claims over the strategic body of water is not valid. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Philippines files diplomatic protest against China over confiscation of Filipino fishermen’s gears

Marje Pelayo   •   August 21, 2020

FILE PHOTO: A Philippine fisherman watches a China Coast Guard vessel patrolling the disputed Scarborough Shoal, April 5, 2017. Picture taken April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) lodged on Thursday (August 20) a diplomatic protest against China over the illegal confiscation by the Chinese Coast Guard of fish aggregating devices (payaos) of Filipino fishermen in Bajo de Masinloc in May.

The DFA added that “the Philippines also resolutely objected to China’s continuing illicit issuances of radio challenges Philippine aircraft conducting legitimate regular maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea.”

In July 2016, the arbitral tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands ruled in favor of the Philippines to invalidate China’s historical claims on the self-proclaimed ‘nine-dash line’ in the West Philippine Sea or the South China Sea.

The Philippines maintains that Bajo de Masinloc is well within the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the arbitral ruling declares it as a common fishing ground for Filipino, Vietnamese or even Chinese fishermen.

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