Report: Staffer of Germany’s AfD arrested over China espionage suspicions

By Thomson Reuters Apr 23, 2024 | 1:51 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) – German police have arrested an employee of an Alternative for Germany (AfD) politician in the eastern German city of Dresden on suspicion of espionage for China, broadcasters ARD, RBB and SWR reported on Tuesday.

The employee, Jian G, worked as an assistant for the AfD’s top candidate in the European Parliament elections, Maximilian Krah, and lived in Brussels as well as Dresden, according to the broadcasters.

Investigators suspect that he passed on information on parliamentary operations to China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), with a particular focus on Chinese opposition members, said the report.

The AfD was not immediately available for comment.

The suspect was arrested on Monday night, hours after three German nationals were arrested on suspicion of working with MSS to hand over technology that could be used for military purposes.

The arrests come a week after Chancellor Olaf Scholz travelled to China to press Beijing on its support for Russia’s wartime economy and to raise issues of intellectual property theft and fair market access.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke and Rachel More, Writing by Miranda Murray)