World News

China rejects 'groundless' German spying claims

China rejects 'groundless' German spying claims

"The affinity for violence, martial arts and weaponry held by many Islamists from the North Caucasus calls for attention from German security authorities", Maassen said.

Germany's intelligence service has published the details of social network profiles which it says are fronts faked by Chinese intelligence to gather personal information about German officials and politicians.

China's Foreign Ministry has denied German allegations that Beijing recruits potential intelligence informants through fake social media profiles.

"Chinese intelligence services are using new strategies of attack in the digital space".

"Chinese intelligence services are active on networks like LinkedIn and have been trying for a while to extract information and find intelligence sources in this way", said a spokesperson for Germany's BfV intelligence agency.

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"The infections are hard to detect, since network connections between service providers and their customers aren't suspicious", the BfV said. These profiles were under names like Laeticia Chen, Rachel Li, Allen Liu, Lily Wu and Alex Li who were supposedly working at political and economic research institutions in China.

The reach of fraudulent profiles likely extends beyond German borders. The ministry added that such allegations were "completely groundless" and that the BfV was "chasing the wind and clutching at shadows", according to the Financial Times.

In October, the Czech Republic's Security Information Service (SIS) warned that Chinese spying increased in the past year, using available information networks to promote interests in the European Union country, including attempting to suppress concerns about Tibet.

In July, Germany's BfV warned that foreign governments, including China, Russia and Turkey, have bolstered industrial espionage efforts in the country, amounting to billions of euros in costs to the German economy each year. The CIA has also warned of attempts by the Chinese security services to recruit U.S. citizens. There could be a large number of target individuals and fake profiles that have not yet been identified, ' the Bfv said.

According to German media reports, German and European parliaments, as well as senior military officials and representatives of foundations, lobby groups and consultancies were also targeted by Chinese intelligence services.


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