外文标题：Snowden extradition would be a 'betrayal': Chinese media
BEIJING: A state-backed Chinese newspaper Monday said extraditing former spy Edward Snowden to the United States would be a "betrayal" of his trust and a "face-losing outcome" for Beijing.
The comments are among the strongest to be put forward by domestic media against extraditing Snowden, a former National Security Agency subcontractor who is hiding in Hong Kong.
The US has launched a criminal investigation into Snowden after he exposed a massive Internet surveillance operation -- including claims of hacking directed at China -- amid tensions between Washington and Beijing over online espionage.
Beijing has been tightlipped on Snowden, with the foreign ministry saying last week it had "no information to offer". But Chinese media have previously said Beijing should be governed by public opinion in refusing to send him back.
Monday's Global Times editorial went into detail about the "face-losing outcome" for China if he was returned.
"Unlike a common criminal, Snowden did not hurt anybody. His 'crime' was that he blew the whistle on the US government's violation of civil rights," it said.
"Extraditing Snowden back to the US would not only be a betrayal of Snowden's trust, but a disappointment for expectations around the world.
"The image of Hong Kong would be forever tarnished."
The editorial also said that "Snowden believes in the democracy and freedom of Hong Kong," adding: "China's growing power is attracting people to seek asylum in China".
China's official army newspaper Sunday branded the surveillance programme exposed by Snowden as "frightening".
The former spy has vowed to fight any attempt by the US to extradite him from Hong Kong, which retained a separate legal system when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Half of Hong Kongers surveyed believe the city's government should not extradite Snowden, according to a poll published on Sunday.
The poll in the Sunday Morning Post found 49.9 per cent of respondents thought Snowden should not be sent back if Washington files for extradition.
The survey found that only 17.6 per cent of 509 respondents favoured the move, while 32.4 per cent were undecided.
The survey was published a day after hundreds of people turned out in the territory on Saturday in the first major demonstration in support of Snowden.
rudiravi (Salem TN)
Unlike a common criminal, Snowden did not hurt anybody. His 'crime' was that he blew the whistle on the US government's violation of civil rights,"... but crime is crime... Snowden must be punished
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Suriyamoorthy Doraiswamy (Khandwa) replies to rudiravi
US Government did not violate its own law. Their actions in the matter were duly authorized by their own process of law.
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Davis (Stately) replies to rudiravi
And who will punish the US government and its leaders for their war crimes? For their violation of the US Constitution?
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anyone who commenting in favor of Snowden, must think if Snowden was Indian and employeed by Indian security agency and then he would have leaked the information by going in other country. Wouldn't you think this is called treason or betraying or compromising nation's security?
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Voice of Humanity (India)
We encourage all truthful americans to come and disclose the truth the world with respect to all types of mischief in USA. We will reward you and protect you forever and ever Amen.
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Suriyamoorthy Doraiswamy (Khandwa)
If a person leaks his own country's secrets to other countries can it be treated mercifully saying that he has not hurt anybody. Will we forgive any Indian who exposes India's secrets? Or will China forgive anyone who may expose China's secrets? Snowden Khan is a wretched renegade probably with ulterior motives -- motives other than what he has stated. I look forward to the time when he is brought to USA , charged and sentenced .
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thinker (India) replies to Suriyamoorthy Doraiswamy
If India spies on its own citizens secretly then India also needs to be exposed. It's not about our country or their country.. Let me ask a question-- what would you do to the person who informs you that your neighbor had fitted a spy camera in your home and have all information about your life? will you arrest the informer or reward him?
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Yonatan Eliyahu (India)
I know where to go when America falls apart—Hong Kong. I love this place already!
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Ravi Shankar (Hyderabad, India)
If China is doing cyber attacks world wide, then how it is wrong with US doing cyber surveillance across the world. Attacks are different and surveillance is different
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Since when did a sample size of 509 respondents become so 'BIG' while gathering opinion on such a serious matter? Had the sample size been bigger the percentage of people who opined against extradition would certainly have been more.
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James Ong (Singapore)
If Snowden is comfortable in Hong Kong and vice versa, then China should allow Snowden to stay in Hong Kong and not be extradited to the US, when the US exercises its extradition request. In fact, China go to the extent of granting asylum to Snowden when the latter seeks asylum in China.
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John (mumbai) replies to James Ong
If not extradite, USA will gun him down.Better move Snowden to Beijing
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But the decision will be taken by Hong kong or China? Hong kong has an extradition treaty with US and once he is in the grip of US of A he will be another Manning.
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Well done , China!!!
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reena gulati (delhi)
VERY GREAT ACT BY CHINESE. IT IS DAVID VS GOLIATH FIGHT . WITH SNOWDEN ARE AT LEAST 6 BILLION PEOPLE AND U.S HAS SUPPORT OF THUGS AND THIEVES ONLY. CAN U.S BE CALLED A DEMOCRACY ANY MORE . IT IS MORE LIKE A SECURITY STATE OR POLICE STATE. REENA GULATI
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India wouldn't even dare provide asylum..........
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It is difficult to know whether writing in the Chinese press and the Hong Kong press (the two are qualitatively different) represents the thinking of the Chinese government. The Hong Kong press is even more emphatic than the Chinese press in saying that Snowden should not be extradited to the US. It may be expected that the Chinese government shall be guided by its perception of its own interests rather than inchoate factors like public opinion and press opinion, neither of which really exists on the mainland. The Chinese government shall have to weigh the advantage of rubbing US nose in the dust by refusing extradition with the possible disadvantage of further difficulties in the US–China relationship. As we know that relationship is not on an ideal footing, but neither side seems inclined to allow matters to drift. The new Chinese leaders have an early test on their hands