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Czech counter-intelligence chief warns of potential Chinese espionage

China's three main intelligence services employ hundreds of thousands of officers who may use all means says Czech BIS chief Michal Koudelka

Prague, Sept 25 (CTK) – China’s three main intelligence services employ hundreds of thousands of officers who may use all means if they decide that a nation is worth their interest, Michal Koudelka, the chief of the Czech Security Information Service (BIS), said at a public hearing in the Senate today.

Koudelka warned businesspeople of the attention of China’s agents.

“Businesspeople and scientists who want to work in China and may be important to the intelligence service must reckon with being targeted by attention, from watching to the attacks on all communication means,” he added.

Major attention is paid to the people dealing with sensitive topics such as the democratisatio movement or Tibet, Koudelka said.

Chinese intelligence officers use routine methods, but also apply state-of-the-art technologies, he added. It is vital to maintain good relations and to show self-assurance as a partner, Koudelka said.

The interconnection of the activities of domestic intelligence agents and economic interests is vital for the maintenance of the stability of the Chinese society and the current elite’s power grip, Koudelka said.

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For China, espionage is a legitimate way for national development, as it decided at the beginning of its boom decades ago, he added.

“At present, one can see intelligence activities in all spheres and on all levels, from the amateur up to highly sophisticates ones,” Koudelka said.

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Intelligence officers operate not only in the places usual in other countries.

“They operate not only from the place where one can expect this, but also from the positions in various companies, institutions, town halls of big towns, where one can encounter intelligence officers, too,” Koudelka said.

Intelligence services have a special use of the Chinese community living abroad. They try to use the very strong relationship with China for various appeals and if they do not work, blackmail is employed, Koudelka said.

According to BIS, Chinese secret services, along with the Russian ones, are among the most active ones in the Czech Republic. In its 2017 annual report, it said the activities of Chinese agents with diplomatic coverage significantly rose in the year.

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The Chinese focus on defence and security as well as crucial sectors such as energy, telecommunications, finances, logistics, the health care and state-of-the art technologies. They are also active in economic and science and technology espionage.

pvr/dr/hol

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