World Bulletin / News Desk
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation.
"I don't see it is in the interest of China to spy," AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said during a visit to Beijing, where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss deepening cooperation on a variety of issues, as well as opening a representative office in Beijing.
Standing next to Wang, he told reporters that the allegations were "all lies," adding that no story "can distract us or divert us from our relations."
The AU is not dealing with "secrets or defence", he said, and "I don't see how it is in the interest of China to offer such a building and spy."
For his part, Wang said the AU conference centre is "a symbol of Chinese-African friendship" and that China had "selflessly" built the building.
Some people, he said, "are jealous of China-Africa cooperation," suggesting that the report was an attempt to wrong-foot the relationship.
Le Monde said the AU's servers were changed and its IT systems redone after the copying was found.
The newspaper also reported that Ethiopian cyber security experts removed microphones hidden in the desks and walls of the headquarters.
China is deeply invested in Africa, regularly offering low-interest loans and gifts to individual nations and doing $149.2 billion (120.3 billion euros) in trade with the continent in 2016.
An Iraqi refugee baby died as Belgian police was chasing a vehicle carrying illegal migrants
'If it doesn’t happen, maybe it will happen later,' American president says
Haidar al-Abadi says agreement reached with winning coalition bloc
Controversial picture of Haram al-Sharif circulates on social media
International court responds to Palestinian foreign minister's request
Lava flows from Kilauea destroy warehouse at major geothermal plant while others reach Pacific Ocean
Jafar Farah was arrested in Haifa last weekend after taking part in pro-Gaza demonstration
ISIL terrorists, Iraqi forces exchange blows south of Mosul, according to local security source
Restrictions on movement of patients, medicines are 'illegal, inhumane and unacceptable': Health Ministry official
US will do anything to prevent Iran's 'malicious activities' in region, Pentagon spokesman says
Since March 30, more than 110 Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire in Gaza
Mahmoud Abbas visits hospital three times in one week, raising speculation about state of his health
Home to numerous civilizations throughout history, Iraq remains a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, monuments
No injuries were reported in the Israeli attack
The Justice Department has asked its Office of the Inspector General to look into the matter, White House says
Ottawa calls President Maduro’s re-election ‘anti-democratic’