Sonntag, 18. September 2022

Morgado didn't make it - China in Brussels

Why is there such a fuss about the leaking of the planned meeting between José Casimiro Morgado - director of the EU Intelligence and Situation Centre (INTCEN) - and colleagues from the Taiwanese intelligence service? One can only smile at the hectic chatter about this.

On the one hand, it is once again frightening how little expertise there is in the media on Taiwanese intelligence architecture and how this ignorance is concealed with painfully clueless presentations. On the subject of Taiwan intelligence I can recommend the excellent chapter by my friend and colleague Jens Rosenke, which he published in the anthology Intelligence Communities and Cultures in Asia and the Middle East: A Comprehensive Reference.

But besides the ignorance about the Taiwanese security bureaucracy, this naivety about China's insights is also astonishing: How did Beijing find out about this "Top Secret" affair? What happened there? What did evil Beijing do to get this information?


Anyone with a halfway awake mind who strolls through Brussels and pays attention to individual conferences, meetings or even small discussion groups will see them: a certain and definable number of Beijing's friends, of supporters, Panda huggers and EU officials, of unscrupulous academics and think tank employees, always busy singing Beijing's praises or presenting books in which China's "alternative" point of view is finally discussed. They extol the virtues of the Silk Road, they relativise aspects of human rights and make fun of the EU's concerns about China's influence in Serbia or Greece. And the people they are networking with - at the reception, before and after the event, in discreet conversation - are sitting in the audience, for example: half the Chinese embassy in Brussels, which at times acts in an exceedingly aggressive and - there is no other way to put it - cheeky and arrogant manner.

It is no wonder at all that the Chinese government is well informed about many EU events. It learns it directly from corrupt and unscrupulous, sometimes naive insiders or those who have learned a few bits of information on the side. The hoover of the Chinese secret services sucks up everything! In addition, Chinese journalists can be found in Brussels with the most astonishing legends. 

The office of the Xinhua News Agency in Brussels alone would be worth a longer analysis. I currently identify - apart from the usual restaurants and bars - nine places in Brussels that clearly provide a platform for these pro-Chinese circles of people in the long term and allow a more or less discreet exchange of information.

Given the gathering of these forces - in Brussels and beyond - one can only wish the Taiwanese office in Brussels courage and energy!