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China’s German Influence Network- Swiss Media Identifies Over 230 Organizations

January 6th, 2021 13:24

Swiss media is report­ing on China’s overt and covert influ­ence oper­a­tions in Ger­many, which the arti­cle says plays a cen­tral role in Peking’s strat­e­gy to estab­lish a Sino-cen­tric world­view. Accord­ing to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung arti­cle:

If need be, Bei­jing’s long arm extends as far as the Geth­se­mane Church in Pren­zlauer Berg. When a memo­r­i­al ser­vice was held there in the sum­mer of 2018 to mark the first anniver­sary of the death of the writer and Nobel Peace Prize lau­re­ate Liu Xiaobo, a hand­ful of unin­vit­ed Chi­nese guests were also present. The gen­tle­men have posi­tioned them­selves in a clear­ly vis­i­ble posi­tion on the gallery of the Berlin church, which was an impor­tant meet­ing place dur­ing the peace­ful rev­o­lu­tion of 1989. Friends of Lius report that they are film­ing those present with a list­less expres­sion. The Peo­ple’s Repub­lic does not miss the oppor­tu­ni­ty to aggres­sive­ly demon­strate that “ene­mies of the sys­tem” are also close­ly mon­i­tored 7,500 kilo­me­ters from Bei­jing. How­ev­er, Chi­na rarely appears as open­ly as it was then abroad. Bei­jing usu­al­ly tries to rep­re­sent its inter­ests with the utmost dis­cre­tion. The oper­a­tion is con­cealed, some­times con­spir­a­to­r­i­al and, above all, com­pre­hen­sive. The strate­gic goal is to grad­u­al­ly estab­lish a sinocen­tric world­view in Europe prop­a­gat­ed by the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty, Aus­tralian Chi­na spe­cial­ist Clive Hamil­ton and Ger­man sinol­o­gist Mareike Ohlberg write in their book “Die Laut­lose Eroberung”. This strat­e­gy is imple­ment­ed by the Unit­ed Front, an orga­ni­za­tion based in Bei­jing with branch­es around the world.

(Trans­lat­ed with Google Trans­late with minor edits)

Read the rest here (pay­wall).

The arti­cle con­tin­ues to iden­ti­fy a net­work of at least 230 busi­ness asso­ci­a­tions, friend­ship soci­eties, or cul­tur­al groups in Ger­many with con­nec­tions to the Unit­ed Front Work Depart­ment, which are cen­tral­ly con­trolled by the Com­mu­nist Par­ty and the Min­istry for State Secu­ri­ty (MSS). The Düs­sel­dorf-based „Arbeits­ge­mein­schaft Deutsch­er Chi­na-Gesellschaften“ (Work­ing Group of Ger­man Chi­na-Soci­eties) and the legal res­i­den­cy of the Chi­nese intel­li­gence ser­vices in the Chi­nese embassy in Berlin are act­ing as oper­a­tional head­quar­ters for the Unit­ed Front in Ger­many, accord­ing to the article.

In Novem­ber 2020, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) rec­om­mend­ed a Newsweek report on the Unit­ed Front Work Depart­ment, a lit­tle-known Bei­jing-based agency with branch­es around the world that seeks to imple­ment the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party’s (CCP) plans to set up and con­nect a large net­work of asso­ci­a­tions, busi­ness groups, friend­ship soci­eties or cul­tur­al groups sup­port­ive of the CCP and to ensure that its over­seas cit­i­zens, and oth­ers of eth­nic Chi­nese descent, stay loy­al. Accord­ing to a US gov­ern­ment report, Unit­ed Front work pro­motes Beijing’s pre­ferred glob­al nar­ra­tive, pres­sure indi­vid­u­als liv­ing in free and open soci­eties to self-cen­sor and avoid dis­cussing issues unfa­vor­able to the CCP and harass or under­mine groups crit­i­cal of Beijing’s policies.

Past GIOR report­ing on China’s influ­ence oper­a­tions in Europe has included:

  • In Jan­u­ary 2021, the GIOR report­ed that reg­is­tered Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty mem­bers are work­ing in key UK positions.
  • In Decem­ber 2020, the GIOR rec­om­mend­ed a study on Chi­nese influ­ence efforts direct­ed against four Cen­tral Euro­pean countries.
  • In Decem­ber 2020, the GIOR report­ed on a Czech MEP said to be act­ing as an agent of Chi­nese influence.
  • In Novem­ber 2020, the GIOR report­ed on a high-rank­ing Ger­man offi­cial said to have sup­pressed a 2018 report on Chi­nese influ­ence in the country.