Chinese Embassy refutes fake news of Le Monde about Chinese intelligence agents’ operations in France
Published: May 23, 2024 03:56 PM


The Chinese Embassy in France refuted the fake news published in the French daily Le Monde alleging so-called Chinese intelligence department’s actions against dissidents in France. The embassy said that the two cases cited by the newspaper are clearly fabricated and some French journalists’ true intention lies in smearing China. 

According to a statement released by the Chinese Embassy on Wednesday, the French newspaper published an article written by journalists Jacques Follorou and Simon Leplâtre in its weekend edition dated between May 19 and 21. The article titled “Chinese officials are operating in France against dissidents” revealed two so-called kidnapping cases of dissidents overseas by Chinese intelligence agents. 

One case is about the attempted kidnapping of Gulbahar Jalilova, a Uygur activist in Paris, and the other is the fake news about France 2’s Envoyé Spécial TV show and Challenges magazine’s report on the Chinese security services’ unsuccessful attempt to forcibly repatriate Ling Huazhan to China. 

The Chinese Embassy refuted that these two cases are clearly fabricated, and the journalists’ narrative is riddled with errors. In the case of Gulbahar Jalilova, for example, the newspaper article stated that on May 8, an anti-crime squad from Paris’s 18th arrondissement was called to the home of Gulbahar Jalilova, on suspicion of an attempted kidnapping. The article said that “When police arrived on the scene, they came face to face with a dozen men dressed in black.” It also stated that “Of the six people checked, the police discovered ‘a security service passport’ on the person who appeared to be in charge. This document linked the individual to the Chinese embassy.” 

The Chinese Embassy pointed out the contradictory narratives by the article about “a dozen men” and only “six people checked.”

Now that the French police made contact with these people, and one of whom supposedly held a security service passport that, according to the article, “linked the individual to the Chinese embassy,” then why haven’t the French police questioned the Chinese Embassy until today, the Chinese embassy queried in the statement. Don’t the French police want to obtain evidence from the Chinese Embassy? Honestly speaking, the Chinese Embassy had not heard of this case until the publication of this fake news, the embassy said. 

Regarding the Ling Huazhan case, the Chinese Embassy has already published a detailed statement on May 2 to refute the false information concocted by the concerned media outlet, which readers can consult on the embassy’s website, said the embassy.

The fact that Le Monde is rehashing this old story that has already been refuted indicates an intentional spread of false information. 

The Le Monde article claimed that Ling Huazhan, an anti-China figure, had his passport confiscated in a trading company run by a Chinese national (in fact, he burned it himself when he participated in an anti-China activity in Berlin last year) and alleged that this trading company actually “serves as a secret Chinese police station overseas.” 

According to the embassy statement, the concerned journalists continue to fabricate, feigning the utmost seriousness, that Ling allegedly escaped on March 22 after the intervention of the French airport’s police, and that he was accompanied by seven people including “the head of the Chinese police station,” who also possessed a security service passport linking the individual to the Chinese Embassy. 

Look, isn’t it the same recipe? But once again, the French police never contacted the Chinese Embassy to seek verification, the Chinese Embassy said in the statement. 

Moreover, according to the article, Wang Jingyu, one of Ling’s close friends, claimed that the Chinese police called Ling about 10 times a day to exert threats and demand that Ling turns himself in to the Chinese Embassy and have a confession video filmed. 

Well, we hope Ling to make public this phone number that is supposedly harassing him as well as the recordings of the calls. Of course, these phone call recordings must be certified by the telecommunications operator. We believe that if the French police have opened a file, all these elements should be in the hands of the French police. We hope that the French police can publish the facts after investigation, the Chinese Embassy said. 

According to the Chinese Embassy, the Le Monde article finally indicates that the journalists had questioned the Paris police and the relevant French intelligence authority, but that these authorities did not wish to speak publicly. 

If true, what is there that cannot be said publicly? Are they afraid that China will be unhappy? That’s not a problem, we can handle it. The fact that they do not want to say a word either shows that there is no such a thing, or that the journalists did not dare to ask them, because they know they are lying, the Chinese Embassy said. 

Additionally, the French journalists stated that they contacted the Chinese Embassy about these two cases on May 17, but that the Chinese Embassy did not respond to their questions. This is an outright lie. 

The Chinese embassy received the email on the evening of May 17 and responded to the journalists’ questions on the morning of May 18, giving them the website link to the embassy’s previous statement on the Ling Huazhan case, asking them to verify for themselves. Regarding the case of Gulbahar Jalilova, the Chinese embassy stated that it was unaware of the case and asked the journalists to make an inquiry with the French police. 

The Chinese Embassy lamented that the standards of French journalists has fallen so far. They tell lies without blushing, but they lie so poorly! In fact, what they are interested in is neither the truth nor justice, but in smearing China! 

Some separatist forces have recently been using the period before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to create momentum in France, some experts said. 

A Uygur organization, the European Uyghur Institute (IODE), said members of the ethnic group in France face “intimidation and harassment” amounting to “repression” by the Chinese state in a legal complaint filed Wednesday.

Global Times