29 November 2022

Berlin: Authorities in Germany are probing whether China maintains an illegal extraterritorial police station in Frankfurt, a spokesperson said, a week before Chancellor Olaf Scholz heads on a contested vi sit to the economic giant. The Chinese embassy did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for the interior ministry in the German state of Hesse said police and internal security services were checking a report by the Spanish activist group Safeguard Defenders, who said China had set up un-declared police offices in 30 countries, including Germany. Confirming an earlier report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, the spokesperson said that they so far had no indications such facilities existed in Frankfurt.

 illegal Chinese police in Frankfurt
illegal Chinese police in Frankfurt

Germany prospered for two decades from China’s insatiable demand for German machine tools, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted soul-searching over the longer-term costs of economic ties with authoritarian countries.

Dutch authorities Wednesday said they were probing Chinese offices that were operating illegally in the Netherlands, carrying out tasks like renewing driving licenses. That followed allegations, denied by the Chinese embassy in The Hague, that the office had also harassed a Chinese dissident living in the Netherlands.

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