PUBLISHED: 02:50, Mon, Oct 26, 2020 | UPDATED: 02:50, Mon, Oct 26, 2020
Gerhard Schindler, former head of the Federal Intelligence Service between 2011 and 2016, urged Germany to curb its “strategic dependence” on Beijing. He also urged the country to ban Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from its 5G network, in the same vein as the UK and other Beijing-skeptic nations. It comes world leaders have ramped up sanctions and surveillance against China over human rights violations and military actions in the South China Sea.
In an interview with the Times on Sunday, Mr Schindler detailed how Beijing approaches international relations, and sounded alarm for Europe over its reliance on China for exports.
He added: China is going about things very cleverly, very quietly, but all the same with an astonishingly consistent strategy, and it is a concern that we in Europe hardly notice this dominant behaviour.
“Our stance towards China has been dominated by business relations. We need to reconsider that. We are partly dependent on China, for example with our car industry.
“But you can’t ease this dependence by becoming more dependent; we should strive to be less dependent.”
READ MORE: Watch out Merkel! China sets sights on using Germany to secure world domination
China news: A former German spy chief has warned China is close to 'world domination' (Image: PA)
China news: Gerhard Schindler said Germany needs to be 'less dependent' on China for exports (Image: PA)
He went on to point to Huawei as a major example of China’s influence, claiming the telecoms firm’s technology was so much more advanced than its European rivals Germany could no longer tell if “back doors” existed in its 5G network.
He added: “It’s as though an engineer specialised in steam engines were supposed to assess an internal combustion engine.
“If Huawei were to build [5G network components] we would have no idea what they were building.
“You can imagine where we are in a crisis and the threat ‘We’re going to turn your communication network off’ would influence our decisions.”
China news: Mr Schindler also pointed to Huawei as an