Germany arrests far-right parliamentary aide on suspicion of spying for China

Mr. Klar is also under investigation over Russian influence operations, as concerns grow over efforts to influence the upcoming EU elections.

German police have arrested an aide of a far-right European Parliament member on suspicion of spying for China.

Prosecutors announced on Tuesday that Jiang G is believed to have repeatedly passed on information about the European Parliament’s activities to China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS). The arrest sparked widespread warnings in Europe that democracy was under threat ahead of June’s EU general election, and angered Beijing.

German authorities did not say which politician employed the arrested man. However, the media reported that the German was a close ally of Maximilian Kula.

The lawmaker is a leading candidate for the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the upcoming European Parliament elections. Kula joins a list of populist politicians across Europe suspected of accepting bribes to promote pro-Russian rhetoric in a plot uncovered by Czech intelligence earlier this month.

Prosecutors said Jiang G. was arrested in Dresden late Monday and his apartment was searched. In addition to reporting on the negotiations and decisions of the European Parliament in January, he is also said to have been spying on the movements of Chinese rebels in Germany.

attack on democracy

In Berlin, Interior Minister Nancy Feser said the spying allegations were “extremely serious”.

“If it is confirmed that there was spying on Chinese intelligence from within the European Parliament, it would be an attack from within against European democracy,” she declared in a statement.

“Those who employ such staff also have a responsibility,” she added. “This case must be solved accurately. All connections and backgrounds must be illuminated.”

In a short statement, the AfD called the arrests “extremely worrying.”

“As we do not have any further information regarding this case, we must await further investigation by federal prosecutors,” spokesman Michael Palatgraf said.

China’s Foreign Ministry dismissed the reported arrests, accusing anonymous forces of trying to defame China and destroy bilateral relations.

“The intention of this kind of hype is very clear: to defame and suppress China and destroy the atmosphere of cooperation between China and Europe,” the spokesperson said.

series of arrests

Reports of Jean G’s detention came hours after Germany arrested three others on suspicion of spying for the MSS.

Regarding the incident, the Chinese embassy in Berlin declared that the Chinese government was not conducting any espionage activities in Germany. Berlin accused them of trying to “manipulate China’s image and smear China.”

However, on the same day, Britain announced that it had arrested two men on suspicion of providing “adverse information” to the Chinese government.

The arrests came shortly after Prime Minister Olaf Scholz visited China to discuss economic ties and urge Beijing to end its support for Russia and its invasion of Ukraine.

Berlin has recently warned of increased efforts by Russia and China to secure political and economic influence, and German intelligence services are seeking broader powers.

Reacting to Jean G’s arrest, MEPs called on the European Parliament to accelerate ongoing investigations into foreign influence to prevent interference in early June’s vote.

“We want preliminary results before the election,” said Green Party MP Terry Reinke. “Authoritarian states like China and Russia are actively seeking to undermine European democracy.”

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