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Three Germans Arrested On Suspicion Of Helping Chinese Secret Service

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German officials announced on Monday that three Germans had been detained on suspicion of collaborating with the Chinese secret service to transfer technology that might be utilized for military applications and possibly bolster China’s navy.

The arrests took place one week after Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Beijing to discuss fair market access, intellectual property theft, and press Beijing on its help for Russia’s wartime economy.

The government is keeping an eye on Chinese espionage in commerce, industry, and science, according to Interior Minister Nancy Faeser. “We look very closely at these risks and threats and have clearly warned and raised awareness about them so that protective measures are increased everywhere,” she said in a statement. In this case, the issue of German innovative technologies that can be used for military purposes was “particularly sensitive”, she added.

“At the time of their arrest, the accused were in further negotiations about research projects that could be particularly useful for expanding China’s maritime combat power,” said Justice Minister Marco Buschmann officially.

Beijing vehemently denied claims that it engaged in espionage operations in Germany, according to the Chinese embassy in Berlin.

“We call on Germany to desist from exploiting the espionage accusation to politically manipulate the image of China and defame China,” a spokesperson for the embassy said.

The suspects were named by prosecutors as Herwig F. and Ina F., a married couple operating a business in Dusseldorf, and Thomas R., who they claimed was an agent for an unnamed Ministry of State Security (MSS) official in China.

Prosecutors stated in a statement that the pair had signed a cooperation arrangement through their business with a German university, which required conducting a study on machine parts that may be utilized for marine engines, like those in warships, for the MSS employee.

Prosecutors said that the defendants also bought a customized laser from Germany on behalf of the MSS and paid for it; they then shipped the laser to China without permission. They did not say for what purpose the laser was intended.

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