BEIJING – The chairperson of the African Union Commission met the Chinese foreign minister in Beijing on Thursday and denied reports that surfaced two weeks ago about China spying on the AU headquarters.
Moussa Faki Mahamat met Wang Yi in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Chinese capital for the seventh strategic dialogue between the two sides.
Talking to the press after the meeting, both leaders denied reports published in the French newspaper Le Monde in late January which alleged China had installed cyber bugs in the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Faki dismissed the allegations as lies, adding that the AU’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital did not have sensitive defense dossiers and said it did not make sense for China to spy on it.
The Chinese foreign minister said rumors would not affect the strengthening of bilateral relations.
The leaders agreed to open a new office of the AU in Beijing. The organization currently has offices in Geneva, New York, Brussels, Washington and Cairo.
Faki highlighted the improvement in ties and gave the examples of China sending aid worth $100 million to Africa and helping in the development of a joint African military force for fighting terrorism.
Beijing is set to host the seventh edition of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in September, an event to which the African heads of state are invited in addition to the AU chairperson.