ChinaDecember 15 2023, 9:20 am

Chinese Spies Used Belgian Politician for Influence Operations

On 7 Decem­ber 2023, the Finan­cial Times report­ed that Chi­nese intel­li­gence recruit­ed Frank Creyel­man, a for­mer Bel­gian sen­a­tor, as part of an oper­a­tion to influ­ence Euro­pean pol­i­tics and divide West­ern alliances. The Min­istry of State Secu­ri­ty (MSS) offi­cer, Daniel Woo, direct­ed Creyel­man over three years to sway dis­cus­sions on top­ics like Hong Kong’s democ­ra­cy and the Uyghurs in Xin­jiang. Woo’s goals includ­ed under­min­ing the US-Euro­pean rela­tion­ship and dis­rupt­ing pro-Tai­wan events. This oper­a­tion was revealed through text mes­sages obtained from a West­ern secu­ri­ty source. Creyel­man, who did not respond to con­tact attempts, was involved in assign­ments rang­ing from influ­enc­ing Euro­pean Par­lia­ment mem­bers to using inter­me­di­aries to sway pub­lic opin­ion. The case high­lights Chi­na’s exten­sive influ­ence oper­a­tions, as not­ed by West­ern secu­ri­ty agen­cies and experts. While Creyel­man had lim­it­ed suc­cess in these tasks, the rev­e­la­tions under­score the scope and method­ol­o­gy of Chi­nese espi­onage, par­tic­u­lar­ly in Europe.


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