World Bulletin/News Desk
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday allegations that a German man worked as a double agent for U.S. intelligence were serious and, if true, were a clear contradiction of what cooperation between partners is supposed to be about.
The case risks further straining ties with Washington, which have been sorely tested by revelations last year of large-scale snooping on Germany by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).
"If the allegations are true, it would be for me a clear contradiction as to what I consider to be trusting cooperation between agencies and partners."
According to intelligence and political sources, the man admits passing documents to a U.S. contact.
Those include information about a parliamentary committee looking into allegations by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden that Washington carried out major surveillance in Germany, including monitoring Merkel's phone.
"We haven't finished clearing this up yet. But if suspicions are confirmed that American secret services were involved, it will become a political issue and we can't just get back to business as usual," he told reporters in Ulan Bator.
As Merkel visited China, where she oversaw the signing of agreements involving Airbus Group NV's helicopter division selling 100 aircraft to Chinese companies, a German intelligence chief warned that some firms in China faced a growing threat from industrial espionage by Chinese government agencies with huge resources.
"Germany is against that - regardless of where it comes from," Merkel said, in reference to industrial espionage.
"We have a duty as the state to protect our economy ... We are for the protection of intellectual property."
China's premier repeated his government's denial that it was involved in such activities.
"China and Germany, it can be said, are both victims of hacking attacks. The Chinese government resolutely opposes hacking attacks as well as the use of the internet to steal commercial secrets or intellectual property," Li said.
"China will engage in dialogue and consultation to protect the security of the internet."Last Mod: 07 Temmuz 2014, 12:13