German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken for the first time about an alleged double agent in the German intelligence community, claiming if true it would be “a clear contradiction of what I consider to be trusting co-operation” with the US.
Speaking during a trade visit to China, her seventh since taking office in 2005, Merkel said the case would be very serious if proven. It is alleged that a spy within the German intelligence agency was feeding sensitive information to the States, including a parliamentary committee report into Edward Snowden’s allegations about the National Security Agency (NSA), in return for payments totalling £20,000. The allegations follow claims that US agents tapped Merkel’s phone.
Merkel met Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday.
China represents Germany’s second largest export market outside Europe after America. The relationship is also worth a considerable amount to China, with exports to Germany totalling €73bn (£58bn) last year.