Brussels: Following the reports of interference in the internal matters of the United States and Australia, Chinese espionage is being exposed now, even in Europe. The Belgian intelligence agency has confirmed the report, saying that the number of spies in Europe currently is more than during the Cold War and also that their numbers are far more than those of the Russian spies. The reason behind the increased Chinese activity in Belgium’s capital, Brussels is said to be the presence of the headquarters of the European Union (EU) and NATO as also due to the consistent movements of the diplomatic officials in the city.
A few months ago, a German magazine had claimed that there are nearly 250 spies were active in Belgium alone. The Chinese consulate in the EU had expressed severe resentment over the claim. The embassy further asserted that the allegations of the German magazine were baseless. However, the incidents that occurred before the report was published attract much attention towards the Chinese espionage activities.
The remarkable Xu Yanjun case of arrest in Belgium in the year 2018, is considered to be only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Chinese espionage activities. Xu Yanjun, an official in the Chinese intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security, was arrested in Brussels in April 2018. He was arrested under the charges of trying to extract confidential information on GE Aviation, from an American engineer.
The US and European agencies became overly alert and started keenly monitoring the Chinese spies. The US agencies have arrested Chinese spies from various states and have already initiated legal action against them. Although extensive action was not undertaken in Europe against them, the European agencies were observed to have been alerted.
Only last month, Belgium deported the director of the Confucius Institute in Brussels after denying a resident permit. The Belgian State Security Service alleged that Xinning Song was an official working for the Chinese intelligence agency. The Belgian agencies clarified that since he was denied entry in Belgium, he would not be able to enter any country under the Schengen system.
Considering the unstable political system in Belgium and the massive investments being made by the Chinese investors in the country, the reports of Chinese espionage were shocking. Since the last few years, China was also accused of trying to create a divide within the European countries, by turning them in its favour, using its financial might. The massive Chinese investments in eastern European countries, including Greece, the agreements signed with Italy and the stand adopted by the countries in the EU on China, exposed China’s policy of division. The network of spies in Belgium only confirms China’s strategy.
A few days ago, a former Australian intelligence chief had exposed the Chinese activities in Australia. He had accused the Chinese rulers of trying to take over the entire political system of Australia, through various channels. A Chinese spy seeking asylum in Australia had also revealed information on the conspiracies of the Chinese agencies. All the developments underscore the fact that the Chinese government was trying to expand its influence around the world, using any possible means.