Rabat – Following an investigation that exposed Chinese espionage in the African Union (AU) headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, AU Chairman Moussa Faki said Thursday in Beijing that he didn’t believe China would spy on the bloc’s headquarters, suggesting it was “a ploy to destabilize relations,” reported AFP.
The investigation, conducted by French newspaper Le Monde Afrique, claimed that over the last five years, all the AU servers were connected to other servers located in Shanghai. The organization’s technical staff later discovered that every night between midnight and 2 a.m., computer servers would reach a peak in data transfer activity.
Each night, the secrets of the AU were being stored more than 8,000 km away by a supposed diplomatically of Africa.
After a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Faki said that these allegations are “all lies.”
“No maneuvers could distract and divert us from our mission of strengthening relations with China,” he said, adding that the African Union would open a new office in Beijing later this year with the support of Chinese government., He did not disclose which party would fund its operations.
Chinese officials have previously denied espionage on African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa calling the report “sensational” and “absurd,” as well as an attempt to “divide China and Africa.”
The $200 million complex was built by China and donated to African Union in 2012. According to Le Monde Afrique, the computer systems were fully equipped by the Chinese, allowing them to open an undocumented portal that gives Chinese administrators access to the AU’s computing system.
An AU official, who spoke to Le Monde on the condition of anonymity, said that the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British intelligence agencies (GCHQ) have also had their share of surveillance on the AU building, according to documents gathered by the daily in collaboration with The Intercept.