US media is reporting that, according to former US intelligence officials, a high-ranking German official suppressed a 2018 report on Chinese influence in Germany over concerns that it would negatively impact German-Chinese business relations. According to the Axios report:
October 6, 2020 A high-ranking German official suppressed a sensitive intelligence report in 2018 on China’s growing influence in Germany out of fear it would damage business ties with China, Axios has learned.
Why it matters: Business interests have long shaped Germany’s relationship with China, to the detriment of human rights concerns and even national security.
Details: The highly sensitive report, completed in 2018, examined the Chinese government’s attempts to influence every level of German government, society and business, according to two former U.S. intelligence officials. It cast a particularly harsh light on the intimate ties between German business and the Chinese government.But before it could be widely disseminated within the German government, as had been intended, a high-ranking official intervened. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also saw the report, but few others did, said one official. What they’re saying: “As a matter of principle, the German government does not comment on matters concerning intelligence findings or activities of the intelligence services,” a federal government spokesperson told Axios. The Federal Intelligence Service, Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, did not respond to a request for comment.
Read the rest here.
The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported in October on the US Department of Homeland Security “Homeland Threat Assessment” that failed to mention Chinese influence operations directed against the US elections. At that time, we also reported on the case of a New Zealand university professor accused of making errors in her report on Chinese influence within the country’s university system.