Home Asean News Germany: EU Parliament Aide Accused Of Spying For China, Arrested

Germany: EU Parliament Aide Accused Of Spying For China, Arrested

Germany China
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China November 4, 2022. Kay Nietfeld/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

German authorities have detained an aide to a European Parliament member from the far-right Alternative for Germany party, on charges of spying for China, according to prosecutors’ statements on Tuesday. The assistant, identified as Jian G., is alleged to have provided Chinese intelligence with details about European Parliament negotiations and decisions.

The website of the AfD’s top candidate in the European Parliament elections, Maximilian Krah, lists Jian Guo as one of his assistants.

Guo who lived in Brussels as well as the eastern German city of Dresden, also spied on Chinese opposition figures in Germany, the prosecutors said. Authorities arrested him in Dresden on Monday and raided his flats.

“He is accused of an especially severe case of working for a foreign secret service,” the statement said.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said that if the charges were proven, then it was “an attack on European democracy from within”.

“Whoever employs such a staffer also has responsibility for this,” she said, saying the investigation would be exhaustive.

Krah did not immediately reply to the request for comment.

Last year, he had already defended G. against accusations he was lobbying for China reported by The European Conservative.

“There is a new slander story against me,” Krah wrote on social media platform X last April. “It is about a staffer born in China: he is a German citizen, AfD member, studied in Dresden and speaks fluent German and English. There is a lot of lying going on.”

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An AFD spokesperson said the news of Monday’s arrest was “very disturbing”.

“The party will do everything to support the investigation,” he said.

The Chinese embassy did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

G. was arrested the same day as three German nationals were arrested on suspicion of working with China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) to hand over technology that could be used for military purposes.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin called recent reports of Chinese espionage in Europe “hype”.

“It is intended to discredit and suppress China,” he said at a news briefing in Beijing on Tuesday.

“We firmly oppose such hype, and urge the relevant parties to stop spreading false information about the so-called threat of Chinese espionage.”

The arrests took place a week after Chancellor Olaf Scholz travelled to China to improve economic relations with Germany’s biggest trade partner as well as address differences like Chinese support for Russia.

With Inputs From Reuters