It appears that the espionage activities carried out by the United States are intended not only to preempt national security threats, but also to find out what the country's closest allies are trying to do next.
Recent revelations have indicated that the US National Security Agency (NSA) tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone and intercepted the calls and text messages of millions in France. The German leader has reacted angrily to the move, describing it as a "breach of trust."
It remains unclear exactly how the fallout from these facts coming to light may affect US-EU ties, but it seems quite certain that US spying has raised fresh alarm from not only those who are accustomed to it, but also for US allies who least expected it.
So what are the motives behind the US spying on its closest allies? Can we expect anything different in the future actions of countries' intelligence services?
Ni hao, you're listening to People In the Know, bringing you insights into the headlines in China, and around the world; I'm Zheng Chenguang in Beijing.
We speak to Professor Chen Zhimin, Deputy Director of the Centre for European Studies and Chair of the Department of International Politics, from Fudan University in Shanghai and Dr. Dominique Mo?si, Special Adviser at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris.