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German Official Suppressed Intelligence On Chinese Influence- Feared Business Ties Would Suffer

November 12th, 2020 11:44

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.