Alleged working for Chinese secret police Bornheim restaurateur denies accusation of espionage
Bornheim · It's a serious suspicion. But Bornheim restaurateur Jin Jian Shu assures us that he does not work for the Chinese police. The mere suggestion is damaging to his reputation.
Jin Jian Shu has lived in Germany with his wife Zhang Xiao Lan since 1990. He is a German citizen. He runs the restaurant "Kaiser Garden" in Bornheim-Hersel. The 54-year-old quickly felt at home in the cheerful Rhineland. His son Jin Hao Shu was Child Prince of the Große Dransdorfer Carnival Society, his daughter Child Princess in Bornheim-Waldorf. In June 2012, Jin Jian Shu and Werner Knauf from Dransdorf were among the founders of the "Bönnsche Chinese" culture and carnival society, of which he is still president today. He is also a member of the Grand Council of the Dransdorf Carnivalists.
During the Covid pandemic, Shu donated 10,000 face masks to the city of Bornheim, and he provided financial support for Children's Cancer Aid and the Bornheim European School. A man, then, who is committed to the understanding of different cultures and who has made himself very much at home in his new homeland.
However, according to a report in the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" (SZ), Shu is not only active as a restaurant owner and carnivalist, but is also said to be the operator of one of the so-called Chinese state's service stations in Germany. Through these stations, Chinese compatriots are not only helped with problems, they are also spied on. According to the report, Shu's station is equipped with document scanners as well as devices and software for electronic signatures and facial recognition.
"I have nothing to do with the police"
Jin Jian Shu sits in his restaurant "Kaiser Garden", whose walls are decorated with German and Chinese flags and with the coat of arms of the "Bönnsche Chinese", and laughs: "You want me to be a Chinese policeman? I'm a carnivalist." Then he gets serious. To associate him with spying on Chinese people is "slander and defamation of character". And further: "I have nothing to do with the police." He also stays out of politics. He has worked very hard in Germany for more than 30 years, loves German culture and the carnival. "I've already jebützt (Kissing at Carneval) 10,000 German women," he jokes, but he only loves his own wife.
He says it is true that he offers such a service station in his house in Bornheim-Dersdorf on a voluntary basis as part of the " Federal Association of Chinese from Zhejiang in Germany e.V.". This was no secret. The purpose of this contact point is to help Chinese who have little or no knowledge of the German language in dealing with authorities or official correspondence.
Many questions during the Covid pandemic
During the Covid pandemic in particular, many Chinese who did not understand the rules had asked him for help. For example there was the question of organising funerals and dealing with inheritance matters remotely from Germany. As is well known, many Chinese died of Covid, but their relatives living in Germany were not allowed to enter their home country.
Werner Knauf, chairperson of the "Bönnsche Chinese", things the suspicion that Jin Jian Shu is spying on Chinese citizens and supplying information to the Chinese government is absurd: "I have absolute trust in him. He helps others where he can. He has also helped fellow Germans."
According to the "SZ", the human rights organisation Safeguard Defenders has identified 54 such service or police stations worldwide, including some in Germany, mostly in Chinese restaurants. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz) is also keeping an eye on these facilities.
The Federal Ministry of the Interior is aware of these locations. In response to a question from the General-Anzeiger, a spokesperson said: "The federal security authorities have been keeping an eye on the existence of such establishments and are following up on all leads. This also applies to the question of to what extent, in what structure and with what focus they are active in Germany." There is a close exchange of information between the federal and state security authorities. It is not possible to comment on further details in the open.
Exchange with the Chinese Embassy
The spokesperson further states that "the carrying out of sovereign activities to which the Federal Republic of Germany has not consented violates the principle of territorial sovereignty under international law and constitutes a violation of the internal sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Germany ". The Federal Republic of Germany had not concluded a bilateral agreement with the People's Republic of China on the operation of such "overseas police stations". Accordingly, Chinese agencies did not have any executive powers on German soil.
The Federal Government does not tolerate such activities and ensures that Chinese diplomatic and consular missions in Germany operate within the framework of the Vienna Convention. The Federal Government is in contact with the Chinese Embassy on this matter.
The "SZ" further quotes from a report in the German-language "Chinesische Handelszeitung" from 2021, according to which Germany is divided into five districts of the "overseas police" with headquarters in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin and near Munich.
According to the SZ, the Chinese embassy in Berlin denies the existence of such "police stations". The volunteers are "committed overseas Chinese". China respects the sovereignty and jurisdiction of all countries. According to the SZ, the German Verfassungsschutz, on the other hand, believes that Chinese living in Germany are deliberately recruited to spy on compatriots. This could happen in companies or at universities.
Original text: Hans-Peter Fuss
Translation: Jean Lennox