Jun 17 2013, 1:58am CDT | by Luigi Lugmayr
Beijing, June 17 (IANS/EFE) The government of Hong Kong, headed by Leung Chung-ying, said it will conduct itself in accord with the laws in the case of US former CIA contractor Edward Snowden, who is believed to be in hiding at an unknown location in the coastal enclave.
Leung said in a statement that China's special administrative region will handle the case according to its established procedures, an allusion to the possibility that the US might ask for the extradition of its citizen, who leaked information about the massive program to eavesdrop on the conversations of US citizens and who has also claimed that his country has been spying on China and Hong Kong for years.
On Saturday, about 900 demonstrators - according to organizers - participated in Hong Kong in a march to support the 29-year-old technician, who last Wednesday in remarks to the South China Morning Post said that he would fight any extradition attempt.
To date, the Chinese government has kept silent on the case, which became public just days after the first meeting between US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at which cybersecurity was a central issue.
China, whom Washington has accused repeatedly of staging cyberattacks, so far has only insisted that it is one of the "main victims" of those attacks and had announced the creation of an office devoted to the diplomatic aspects of cybersecurity.
The US confirmed that Snowden is under investigation but US authorities have not said whether they will request his extradition.
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