Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has reported on influence attempts by China and warned of strategic investments by Chinese companies in Germany that are part of China’s “Made in China 2025 ”and the “New Silk Road Initiative.” According to the agency’s recently released 2020 annual “Constitutional Protection” report:
The country, ruled in an authoritarian manner by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has established itself — also with the use of its intelligence services — as an economic and military superpower. Industrial espionage, influence and observation as well as control of opposition movements abroad — for example in connection with the Democracy movement in Hong Kong — were the focal points of the activity of Chinese services. Strategic master plans such as “Made in China 2025 ”and the“ New Silk Road Initiative ”describe China’s long-term goals. Companies that are important to China in the context of the two strategies were the focus of corresponding industrial espionage and cyber attacks. In terms of long-term know-how protection, the LfV therefore also observed strategic investments by Chinese companies in Hesse. These investments often do not follow private-sector interests, but were part of the master plans. In the event of a sustained economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, companies with know-how worthy of protection run the increasing risk of becoming takeover candidates for such investments. [Translated with Google Translate]
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Made in China 2025 is a Chinese national strategic plan and industrial policy to upgrade China’s manufacturing capabilities and turn the country into a self-sufficient technology-intensive powerhouse, dominating advanced industries such as robotics, advanced information technology, aviation, and new energy vehicles. High-tech export-oriented countries such as Germany are worried about these plans as China uses a mix of foreign acquisitions, forced technology transfer agreements, and commercial cyber espionage to gain the cutting-edge technologies it is still lacking.
The New Silk Road Initiative (or Belt and Road Initiative) is a Chinese global infrastructure development strategy seeking to invest in 70 countries and international organizations and is considered a centerpiece of the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign policy.