Germany emerges as key target for Russia, China interference, report warns

Germany is getting ready to hold a federal election next year

Germany is now “on the frontline of a new Cold War” as it has become a key target for Chinese and Russian interference, a U.K.-based think tank is warning.

The declaration made in a report released Wednesday by the Royal United Services Institute -- which studies international security and defense -- comes as Germany is preparing for a federal election next year.

"Russia's activities are largely political, attempting to undermine public confidence in democratic institutions,” John Kampfner, a senior associate fellow at RUSI and author of the report, was quoted by Sky News as saying. “China's have been focused mainly on economic assets."

VATICAN, HONG KONG DIOCESE ALLEGEDLY HACKED BY CHINA 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she won't be seeking a fifth term as chancellor in 2021. (AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she won't be seeking a fifth term as chancellor in 2021. (AP)

The combination has put Germany “on the frontline of a new Cold War,” the report adds.

In his writing, Kampfner says the threats Germany faces from Russia are mostly linked to cybersecurity.

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At the same time, Germany’s economy – the largest in Europe – has become heavily dependent on China for exports and has seen a number of its companies bought by their business people, he also notes.

"A number of Chinese takeovers, successful or resisted, of medium-sized... companies, the engine room of the German economy, has led to a shift in position and in perceiving China as a strategic competitor," Sky News quoted the report as saying.