China’s spies in Europe: These countries are affected

China’s spies in Europe: These countries are affected

Double agents, cyber espionage and internal leaks: China’s long arm reaches all the way to Europe. Agents have recently been exposed not only in Germany.

There was a huge outcry when it emerged: an employee of Maximilian Krah, AfD’s top candidate for the European Parliament, was said to be a Chinese spy. But it is not only in Germany that China is trying to secretly access information. Across Europe, politics and business are coming into the sights of the Chinese secret society. An overview:

Spies in British Parliament

Two suspected spies who are accused in Great Britain of carrying out secret service activities for China appeared in court in London on Friday. The 29 and 32-year-old men are said to have collected and passed on documents and information that could have been useful to an enemy country, according to officials. One of the two worked in the research service of the British Parliament and, among other things, maintained close contact with the State Secretary for Security Tom Virtue.

The accused did not comment on the allegations. The two will be released on conditional terms until the next criminal trial on May 10th with another hearing.

In late March, Britain blamed Chinese hackers for attempting to break into the email accounts of Beijing critics in the British House of Representatives. A Chinese entity was also behind a hack of the British election regulator in which the data of millions of people was stolen.

Both Great Britain and the USA imposed sanctions on a company that is said to be a front company for the Chinese Ministry of State Security. The suspected organization was involved in a cyber espionage offensive and affected millions of people, including MPs, academics and journalists – but also companies, including defense companies.

Cyber ​​espionage in the Netherlands

The Dutch military intelligence service MIVD said in its annual report in mid-April that Chinese spies had targeted Dutch semiconductor, aerospace and shipbuilding industries. “China wants to be independent of Western knowledge and technology,” the report said. The government in Beijing wants to build an army that can compete with any other armed force in the world. To do this, it needs advanced technologies that it does not yet have. The Middle Kingdom is trying to obtain this abroad through legal means such as research and investments, but also with the help of its intelligence services.

In February, Dutch intelligence agencies said Chinese state-backed cyber spies had gained access to a military network in the Netherlands last year.

Belgium’s right-wing extremists infiltrated by spies

At the end of December, Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo called China a country that was “sometimes very hostile.” There had previously been allegations that Beijing had recruited a member of the Belgian right-wing extremist party Vlaams Belang as an intelligence informant. The leader of the party that supports independence for the northern part of Flanders expelled the party member in question because of the allegations.

Double agent in Poland

A former Polish intelligence agent and an ex-employee of Chinese technology giant Huawei were arrested in Poland in 2019 on suspicion of spying for Beijing. Her trial began in 2021 but was not open to the public.

Source: Stern

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