Pic: AP.

BERLIN (AP) — China is demanding an explanation from Washington over allegations that a U.S. intelligence agency hacked into the email servers of Chinese tech giant Huawei and targeted top Chinese officials and government institutions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Monday that Beijing is deeply concerned about the charges, and demands that any such spying be stopped.

German weekly Der Spiegel and the New York Times reported that the National Security Agency began targeting Huawei in early 2009. They cited secret U.S. intelligence documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The alleged spying began around the time concerns were growing that the telecommunications equipment manufacturer was a threat to U.S. national security.

Der Spiegel also said the NSA targeted officials including former President Hu Jintao, as well as ministries and banks.

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