A parliamentary report on foreign interference in France, prepared upon demand of Marine Le Pen’s far-right party and published on Thursday (June 8), highlighted China’s growing interference, pointing to its methods that are becoming increasingly aggressive.
“After Russia, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the country which most serious threat to France in terms of foreign interference”, a French parliamentary report published on Thursday states.
The parliamentary report, written by rapporteur Constance Le Grip (Renaissance/Renew), comes after five and a half months of work and hearings by the committee of enquiry into foreign interference in France.
The committee was set up by the far-right Rassemblement National (RN/ID) party in order to cut through the accusations of their collusion with Vladimir Putin’s regime.
While Russia is indeed the biggest threat to France in terms of interference, China “is resorting to increasingly aggressive and malicious manoeuvres”, the report concluded.
Bernard Emié, director of French External Intelligence (DGSE), stated that China has gone from being a “contained power” to an “aggressive power”, especially with “unbridled diplomacy”.
According to the experts and politicians heard by the committee of enquiry, China is taking its inspiration from Russia’s methods, evoking a “Russianisation or Sovietisation of Chinese influence operations”.
China is now pursuing “a strategy that fuels the contestation of norms”, relying on its diaspora and cultural network to challenge and undermine the Western order. Like Russia, China uses “information manipulation, cyber-attacks and espionage”.