AfD politician’s aide arrested on suspicion of spying for China | Germany

An aide to a German far-right politician standing in the European elections in June has been arrested on suspicion of spying for China, German prosecutors have said.

The man, named only as Jian G, was accused of sharing information about negotiations at the European parliament with a Chinese intelligence service and of spying on Chinese opposition figures in Germany, federal prosecutors said.

The suspect was arrested on Monday night, hours after three German nationals were arrested on suspicion of working with China’s ministry of state security to hand over technology that could be used for military purposes.

Last week, German authorities arrested two German-Russian nationals who were allegedly spying on behalf of Russia, scouting out military bases – including US posts used for training Ukrainians in the operation of Abrams tanks – with a view to carrying out explosive attacks on them.

On the website of the European parliament, Jian Guo is listed as an accredited assistant to Maximilian Krah, an MEP and the far-right AfD party’s lead candidate in the EU-wide elections. He is a German national who has reportedly worked as an aide to Krah in Brussels since 2019.

The suspect “is an employee of a Chinese secret service”, prosecutors said. “In January 2024, the accused repeatedly passed on information about negotiations and decisions in the European parliament to his intelligence service client. He also spied on Chinese opposition members in Germany for the intelligence service.”

The suspect was arrested in Dresden, eastern Germany, on Monday and his homes were searched, they added. The accused lives in Dresden and Brussels, according to the broadcasters ARD, RBB and SWR, who broke the news about the arrest.

The AfD described the allegations as “very disturbing”. “As we have no further information on the case, we must wait for further investigations by federal prosecutors,” Michael Pfalzgraf, a party spokesperson, said.

The case is likely to fuel concern in the west about aggressive Chinese espionage.

On Monday, Germany arrested three German nationals suspected of spying for China by providing access to secret maritime technology.

China’s foreign ministry on Tuesday rejected reports of Chinese espionage in Germany, saying such “hype” aimed to discredit China.

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A ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, said at a press conference that China had always adhered to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and it hoped the “relevant personnel” on the German side would abandon their cold war mentality.

According to German media, the two cases are not connected. The head of the domestic intelligence agency said the first round of arrests on Monday could be “just the tip of the iceberg” of spy rings operating in the country.

In Britain on Monday, two men were charged with handing over “articles, notes, documents or information” to China between 2021 and 2023. Police named the men as Christopher Berry, 32, and Christopher Cash, 29, who previously worked in the UK parliament as a researcher.

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