Aide to far-right German MEP arrested on suspicion of spying for China

AfD politician Maximilian Krah, Magdeburg, Germany, Saturday, July 29, 2023.
AfD politician Maximilian Krah, Magdeburg, Germany, Saturday, July 29, 2023. Copyright Carsten Koall/(c) Copyright 2023, dpa ( Alle Rechte vorbehalten
Copyright Carsten Koall/(c) Copyright 2023, dpa ( Alle Rechte vorbehalten
By Tamsin Paternoster
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Jian Guo has been working for the AfD's top candidate for the European elections since 2019.


German police on Monday arrested an aide to a far-right MEP on suspicion of spying for China.

The man, named in Germany as Jian G., is publicly listed as an accredited assistant to Maximilian Krah, MEP and leading candidate for the far-right party Alternative for Deutschland (AfD). 

The Federal Prosecutor's Office said he is accused of being "an employee of the Chinese secret service" as well as "repeatedly passing on information about negotiations and decisions in the European Parliament to his intelligence client".

Jian Guo is also been accused of spying on Chinese opposition figures in Germany.

Krah confirmed that Guo was a member of his staff and that he would terminate his employment immediately if the allegations turned out to true. 

Germany's Interior Minister Nancy Fraeser said that, if true, the allegations would amount to "an attack on European democracy from within." Faeser also added that anyone who employed him would bear responsibility for doing so, seemingly referencing Krah. 

China's Foreign Ministry has hit back against the arrest, claiming the arrests mount to "disinformation."

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, "The recent reports in Europe about Chinese spying are all hyping up with an aim to smear and suppress China." 

According to Die Zeit, Guo is a 43-year-old Chinese national with German citizenship who met Krah whilst working as a businessman in Germany. He was originally brought into Krah's team in Brussels as an assistant when Krah entered the European Parliament in 2019. 

The arrest is the fourth in recent weeks involving German nationals accused of spying for China.

A man and couple were arrested in Hesse and North-Rhine Westphalia on Monday having been accused of obtaining information on military technology on behalf of China. 

And last week, two men were arrested for plotting to sabotage support for Ukraine in Germany, possibly on behalf of the Russian government.

Guo will be brought before judges in Karlsruhe on Tuesday, where authorities will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant and detain him.

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