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Spy claims in Germany and Britain ‘malicious’

Beijing said on Tuesday that the arrests and charges in Germany and Britain of people accused of spying for China were designed to “smear and suppress” the country.

Investigators in Germany arrested three German nationals in the west of the country on Monday suspected of sharing information on maritime technology, prosecutors said in a statement.

The trio, identified only as Herwig F., Ina F. and Thomas R., are accused of taking part in an information-gathering project funded by Chinese state agencies, as well as illegally exporting a laser to China.

In Britain, two men were charged the same day with handing over “articles, notes, documents or information” to China between 2021 and last year.

Police identified the men as Christopher Berry, 32, and Christoper Cash, 29, who previously worked at the UK parliament as a researcher.

German prosecutors said on Tuesday another individual, an aide to a German far-right politician standing in June’s European Union elections, had been arrested on suspicion of spying for China.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin was asked several questions by journalists on Tuesday about the allegations.

“Recent reports on China’s so-called espionage activities in Europe are all hyped up and aimed at smearing and suppressing China,” Wang said.

“Not only there have been reports from Germany but we have also noted similar reports from the UK in the past two days.

“We firmly oppose such hype and urge relevant parties to stop spreading false information about the so-called China spy threat, stop political manipulation and malicious defamation against China,” he said.

‘Mutual respect’

The German arrests and British charges come amid repeated Western warnings of Chinese intelligence services targeting advanced technologies.

Pressed specifically on the two men charged in Britain, Wang said: “I would like to reiterate that the so-called claim that China is suspected of stealing British intelligence is completely fabricated and a malicious slander.

“We firmly oppose it and hope that relevant people and parties will stop anti-China political manipulation.”

Flags of China and Germany fly at Tian’anmen Square this month during a visit by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

Responding to a question on the arrested German MEP’s aide, Wang said such claims were designed “to destroy the atmosphere of cooperation between China and Europe”.

The arrested man, identified only as Jian G., is 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 in a statement.

Asked about the arrest, Wang said it was “clear for everyone to see recently that the so-called Chinese espionage threat theory is not a new thing in European public opinion”.

“What we want to emphasise is that China has always adhered to the principle of mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs to cooperate with countries around the world, including Europe,” Wang said.


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