WORLD ROUNDUPJapan’s Remarkable Call for American Leadership | Germany Arrests ‘Chinese Spy’ in Second AfD Scandal | China Weaponizes Disinformation Against Taiwan, and more

Published 23 April 2024

·  Germany Arrests ‘Chinese Spy’ in Second AfD Scandal
Hard-right opposition party rocked by claims of Beijing infiltration and Russian cash

·  Israel Offers No Evidence for UN Refugee Agency Terror Claim
International donors suspended $450 million in funding after Israel claimed staff had joined the October 7 Hamas attacks

·  Pessimistic Young Germans Turning to Far Right, Says Study
German teenagers and young adults find themselves increasingly unsatisfied and likely to vote for the far right, according to a survey. Fears about prosperity are highlighted as a possible cause

·  Climate Change and Extreme Weather Impacts Hit Asia Hard
Asia is warming faster than the global average

·  Copernicus Report Shows Year of Weather Extremes in Europe
Drought, wildfires, floods and record heat in Europe: last year was one of extreme climate impacts for humans and nature. But there’s also some positive news

·  How Would China Weaponize Disinformation Against Taiwan in a Cross-Strait Conflict?
What might China’s future disinformation operations against Taiwan focus on and how can Taipei and its partners combat them?

·  Japan’s Remarkable Call for American Leadership
Japan clearly takes its role as America’s ally seriously

Germany Arrests ‘Chinese Spy’ in Second AfD Scandal  (David Crossland, The Times)
German police have arrested an assistant to Maximilian Krah, the hard-right Alternative for Germany’s leading candidate in the European elections, on suspicion of spying for China.
The man, named by law enforcement only as Jian G, was arrested on Monday in Dresden. He lives in Dresden and Brussels, the German public broadcasters ARD, RBB and SWR reported on Tuesday.
The federal state prosecutor’s office said Jian G was accused of being an employee of a Chinese secret service and had worked for a German member of the European parliament since 2019. Jian Guo is listed as an accredited assistant to Krah in the European parliament.
The suspect will be brought before a judge on Tuesday. A day earlier it emerged that a German MP for the AfD had been secretly filmed accepting cash from a sanctioned pro-Russian propaganda network, according to an investigation by Czech intelligence. Petr Bystron, 51, was allegedly captured on video receiving “small packages” while sat in a car with Artem Marchevsky, a businessman linked to the Voice of Europe news website in Prague.

Israel Offers No Evidence for UN Refugee Agency Terror Claim  (Catherine Philp, The Times)
Israel has not provided any evidence to a review of the United Nations refugee agency in Gaza to substantiate claims that its staff took part in the October 7 attacks by Hamas.
The independent review, commissioned by the UN and led by Catherine Colonna, the former French foreign minister, said that Israel “has yet to provide supporting evidence” of its claims that employees of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) were members of terrorist organizations
The allegations, made by Israel in January, prompted donor nations including Britain to suspend some $450 million worth of funding to the agency. The US Congress passed a law banning funding until next year.

Pessimistic Young Germans Turning to Far Right, Says Study  (DW)
Young people are more likely to vote for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) than previously, a study on Tuesday showed.
Authors of the “Youth in Germany 2024” study said that under-30s were increasingly disgruntled with their social and economic situation, and that fears about future prosperity were driving a shift to the right. (cont.)