Embassy protests foreign intelligence service report China coverage

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Chinese Embassy in Kadriorg. Source: Google Maps

The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Tallinn has expressed its concern over information on China published in the recent Foreign Intelligence Service (Välisluuramet) annual report, saying that it traduces the country and can mislead the public.

In a statement in English addressed to ERR on Thursday, the embassy said: "We noticed that the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service issued its annual report of Security on February 17, and the content concerned China maintains its unprofessional style as before."

The embassy was likely referring to similar complaints aired exactly a year ago, following the publication of the 2020 yearbook. ERR did not compile the report, though carried a summary of the English-language version.

"[The report] is full of hearsay and patchwork, and smears China by citing sources which 'cannot be commented [on]', spreads fake news publicly, and misleads the public with ulterior motives."

"This is an extremely irresponsible act which tries to harm China-Estonia relations."

"China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to it."

The report, available in English here, claims that China has a major, ambitious plan to become dominant in global tech, which poses major security threats to other countries. The embassy denies this by implication of its general rejection of the report, which also covers China's influence in the west and cooperation with the Russian Federation, also presented as a security threat.

"China firmly follows the path of peaceful development and has been working hard to promote the healthy and stable development of China-Estonia relations," the statement continues.

"China has no intention or interest in threatening any country. We once again urge a few Estonians to discard ideological prejudice and view China's development in an objective and fair manner, stop slandering China and work to promote the China-Estonia relations, bilateral practical cooperation and the feelings between our two peoples."

Huawei: We are a private firm

A separate statement from Chinese tech giant Huawei rejects links drawn in the report between it and the Chinese Communist Party (CPC).

Huawei says it is a private firm, and that the CPC and the related trade union is not involved in the company's management.

"The Secretary General of the Communist Party does not run our company in any way, either actually or symbolically," Huawei told ERR's online news in Estonian.

While Estonia attended the recent so-called 17+1 online summit, referring to a format comprising China and 17 European countries, it did so in the personhood of foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets, rather than the head of government or head of state, although the summit was chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Current prime minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) last year highlighted the plight of China's Muslim Uighur minority, while she was opposition leader.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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