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China spy suspects in U.K. and Germany seen as 'tip of iceberg'

Allegations highlight Europe's tricky balance with Xi Jinping expected to visit soon

One of the two men recently charged in the U.K. for spying for China was a parliamentary aide.   © Reuters

LONDON/HAMBURG, Germany -- In a week when four alleged spies for China were arrested in Germany and another two suspects were charged in the U.K., intelligence experts said Europe had only scratched the surface of the problem.

Claims of Chinese espionage have dogged Europe in recent years, from the U.K. to Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, the heart of the European Union. Some of these operators have reached into high offices. One of the men charged in London was a parliamentary researcher with access to politicians who could influence Britain's China policy. One of those arrested in Germany was an aide to a member of the European Parliament from a far-right group that is gaining traction in the country.

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