16:20 GMT01 December 2020
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    The announcement came amid Berlin's accusations that Beijing avoids discussing existing cyberspace problems.

    China has always been open to exchanging opinions on cybersecurity and cooperation with Germany in this regard, the country's foreign ministry's spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Wednesday.

    Her statement came amid claims by Germany's ambassador to Beijing, Michael Clauss, that China has been unwilling to engage in bilateral cybersecurity dialogue and negotiate certain issues, including the recently introduced caps on the use of software that allows users to avoid internet filters, a move that foreign firms fear might disrupt their businesses.

    Clauss also told reporters that further discussions on cybersecurity agreed by both governments during the summer have not taken place.

    In her turn, Chunying noted that Germany's stance on the issue was "not constructive" and the remarks made by the German ambassador did not reflect the facts.

    She recalled that Beijing invited Germany for consultations, but the German side has not accepted these invitations and accused China of lacking sincerity, which is completely groundless.

    Beijing has introduced restrictions on the use of virtual private network software that enables users to overcome internet filters that block access to websites the ruling Communist Party considers obscene or subversive.

    This is not the first conflict between the two countries regarding their cyberspace activities.

    In mid-December, German intelligence accused China of using social networks to gather personal information about German officials and business circles.

    READ MORE: China Refutes Allegations of Using Social Networks to Spy on Germans

    In particular, Germany's Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) said that China's intelligence services created fake LinkedIn profiles and contacted about 10,000 German social media users, including members of the Bundestag, to gain access to sensitive data.

    Chinese officials refuted Germany's espionage allegations and called on Berlin to avoid undermining ties between the two countries.


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