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Office refutes espionage claims

Zhang Zhihao
Updated: Mar 4,2018 10:56 AM     China Daily

China has never used its overseas Chinese affairs activities to undermine the interests of other countries, the top official in charge of overseas Chinese affairs said on March 3.

Qiu Yuanping, director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, China’s Cabinet, made the comment in response to foreign reports on overseas Chinese conducting espionage in their host countries.

“These types of reports are baseless and malicious and should be fiercely rebuked,” Qiu said on the sidelines of the first session of the 13th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, which convened on March 3.

“Chinese have a long history of migrating to other countries, and wherever they go they will bring their hardworking good nature, love for peace and harmony and other positive traits with them,” she said.

In 2017, more than 60 million overseas Chinese were living in more than 200 countries and regions, according to the office. The total capital of overseas Chinese business surpassed $5 trillion, and more than 4 million senior overseas Chinese professionals are working in advanced scientific fields.

Overseas Chinese have contributed greatly to their host countries, from socio-economic development to scientific achievements, she said. “Chinese migrants are commonly welcomed by many host countries and have even become an integral part of some countries’ multicultural society,” she said.

“Contribution by overseas Chinese should be fully recognized and not be slandered,” she said. “China has never used overseas Chinese affairs as a means to undermine the interests of other countries.”

China has always been a responsible nation in terms of emigration, she said. China’s overseas Chinese policies encourage Chinese abroad to engage in social integration, abide by local laws, respect local traditions and live in harmony with other communities, she added.

“We hope related parties can view overseas Chinese fairly and objectively, respect and protect their legitimate rights and interests, and create a more friendly and fair environment for their long-term stays overseas,” she added.

At the same time, the office will continue to protect the rights of overseas Chinese, forge bonds between them with their homeland and encourage them to innovate and participate in China’s development, as well as in the Belt and Road Initiative, she said.

“We need to garner the hearts, the power and the minds of overseas Chinese to form a stronger connection between their dreams and the dreams of the Chinese people,” she said.