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Assistant of German far-right AfD top candidate for EU elections arrested in China spy case

An individual linked to the far-right AfD party’s leading candidate for the EU elections was among those arrested for alleged spying for China, raising concerns about its political ties.
The German parliament Bundestag in Berlin. Photo: DBT/Zumbansen
Assistant of German far-right AfD top candidate for EU elections arrested in China spy case

On 23 April, Germany arrested four individuals, three men and one woman, who are accused of spying for China, according to Deutsche Welle.

Among them is an individual identified as Jian G. by German authorities, who serves as an assistant to Maximilian Krah, a member of the European Parliament and the leading candidate for the far-right populist AfD in the upcoming parliament election this June.

The AfD, which is under nationwide surveillance by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution due to suspicions of being an extremist party, has faced repeated allegations of close connections with Russia. In a statement, Krah denied any knowledge of his assistant’s alleged spying activities.

Although polling firmly in second place in Germany, trailing behind the Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union, the AfD has recently witnessed a decline in support amid a series of scandals.

“Jian G. is an employee of a Chinese secret service,” the German public prosecutor later confirmed, as per Politico.

Following the launch of an investigation, Green Party lawmaker Konstantin von Notz, who heads the Parliamentary Control Committee for the Intelligence Services in the lower house, the Bundestag, called on the country that interference in German security system a “very real threat.”

“We must act quickly and decisively both through criminal prosecution and by uncovering the structures and networks,” he stressed.

Thomas Haldenwang, the head of the country’s intelligence service, told Deutsche Welle that German law enforcement handed the case over to the police and the public prosecutors once the evidence was clear.

The 2023 report from his agency wrote about China’s escalating global ambitions, noting a concerted effort to expand its power. It also anticipated a rise in spy activities and attempts to influence officials as part of China’s strategy. Haldenwang added that China’s ambitions are deliberate and long-term.

“They want to be the number one political, military, and economic power in the world by 2049,” he said.

Haldenwang said that the country uses legal and illegal means to achieve this objective.

However, intelligence service findings suggest that Russia’s motives differ from those of China, but its spy activities will continue to increase, and new personnel will be recruited for this purpose.

“Because of the hot war conducted with enormous use of force by Russia, it would be negligent not to assume the ability and willingness of its intelligence services to conduct complex operations in Europe,” Haldenwang emphasized.

There have been reports of Russian attempts to recruit Russians living in Germany.

Russian nationals and emigrants often display hatred towards Ukraine and Ukrainians and support for Russia’s aggression, including during mass rallies and ordinary life.

On 27 April, two Ukrainian men were killed in the German city of Murnau am Staffelsee by an alleged Russian national.

Russian stabs to death two Ukrainians in Germany’s Bavaria

According to preliminary data, the deceased citizens were soldiers who were undergoing medical rehabilitation in Germany, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated. The ministry said that the victims, born in 1987 and 2001, were found with fatal stab wounds at a local shopping center.

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